Mitch Brindley, head coach of the ODU sailing team, has been integral in building the Monarchs to a national powerhouse in the world of intercollegiate racing. Entering his 20th season at the helm for the Monarchs in the 2014-15 season, Brindley has solidified his place among the nation's best sailing coaches.
ODU has seen a great deal of success recently with Brindley guiding the team, including four national championships in the last 10 years under Brindley, while the women's team has qualified for 12 of the last 13 national championship regattas. In addition, ODU has qualified for the ICSA/Gill Dingy national championships in four consecutive seasons. The head coach has been directly involved in obtaining nine of Old Dominion's 15 national titles.
The 2013 Monarchs captured a ninth-place finish at the ICSA/Gill Dinghy Coed National Championships. The ninth-place finish was ODU's best finish since earning fourth place in 2009. Under Brindley's leadership, senior skipper Dillon Paiva was named the ICSA Intercollegiate Sportsman of the Year. Paiva became just the second Monarch to ever win the honor, joining Samantha Ficksman who won the award in 1996.
A youthful 2012 squad qualified for the ICSA/Gill Dinghy Coed National Championship for the fourth consecutive year while the Lady Monarchs qualified for Women's National Championship event for the 12th time in the past 13 years. Senior crew Emily Reich earned All-America honors while junior skipper Dillon Paiva was selected to the U.S. Sailing Development Team.
In 2011, ODU qualified for both the Coed and Women's National Championship events and finished sixth in the women's. Emily Reich garnered Coed All-America honors and Steph Roble claimed Women's All-American accolades for the second straight year.
In 2010, a third-place result at the ICSA Women's Dinghy National Championships highlighted a very successful year for the Old Dominion sailing program. The women's squad was ranked as high as No. 1 nationally and qualified two team members for the ICSA Women's Singlehanded National Championships. The co-ed team was also successful in 2010, maintaining a Top 20 ranking throughout the year and qualifying for the Co-ed National Championships in Madison, Wis. Both women's and co-ed sailors were honored at years end as Roble and senior crew Michael Komar were each named ICSA All-Americans after stellar performances throughout the year and at the National Championships.
ODU qualified for four of the six national championship events in 2009. Kyle Rogachenko tied for first, losing the tiebreaker, at the Singlehanded National Championships. The Monarchs also made an impressive run at both the ICSA Women's National Championship and ICSA/Gill Dinghy National Championship, finishing 4th at both events.
In the summer of 2008, Brindley served as the personal coach for Anna Tunnicliffe during her Olympic campaign and ultimately her gold medal. In 2009, Brindley continued to serve as a coach for the U.S. Sailing Team Alphagraphics in the Laser, Laser Radial, and Finn classes.
In 1997-98 Brindley guided his teams to national titles in the ICYRA Team Race and the ICRYA Co-ed Dinghy Championships. As both a crew member and coach, Brindley has been directly involved in obtaining nine of Old Dominion's 15 national championships. He is currently the president of the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA), the national governing body for collegiate sailboat racing.
Brindley formerly served as an assistant coach at Old Dominion for four years under former head coach K.C. Fullmer, who left the program in 1995.
As a competitor for Old Dominion, Brindley was twice named team captain and twice selected to Sailing World's All-Star Crew. He crewed for the Monarchs when they won the ICYRA Sloop Nationals in 1988, the Dinghy National Championship team in 1989, and the team's fifth place finish in the Team Race National Championship in the spring of 1989.
Despite the demands of coaching, Brindley remains an active competitor in national and international sailing. The Sugarland, Texas native graduated from Old Dominion in 1989 with a degree in economics. He, his wife Dawn and two children, currently reside in Smithfield.