Greg Fisher, a former All-American and world-renown expert in the sailing community, is in his third season as director of sailing at the College of Charleston.
One of the most accomplished competitors in United States sailing history, Fisher has captured 21 North American or National Championships in seven different classes including the Lightning, Thistle and Flying Scot over the course of his expansive professional sailing career. A past World Champion in the J/22 Class, he most recently skippered to a first-place finish over 50 other teams to claim the J/22 North American Championship on Aug. 21, 2010, in Buffalo, N.Y.
Last season, CofC captured its first-ever ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship title in program history and was presented with the Leonard M. Fowle Trophy, awarded annually to the best overall collegiate team in the nation. A year prior, the Cougars earned their first No. 1 national ranking in over a decade after winning the prestigious Truxtun Umstead regatta over Georgetown on March 23, 2011.
Fisher spent the past decade as a sailmaker for North Sails One Design in Annapolis, Md., and will now be in charge of growing the College of Charleston collegiate sailing program, while also expanding other waterfront activities such as a city-oriented learn-to-sail program. He will also be responsible for fundraising efforts on behalf of the College of Charleston Sailing Association, which supports the school's varsity sailing team and community boating initiatives.
"Greg is a tremendous addition to our sailing program," said CofC associate athletics director/senior woman administrator Laura Lageman. "His outstanding sailing background, competitive success and passion will allow our program to reach new heights."
A naturally-talented sailor whose love for the sport began at an early age, Fisher became a sailmaker immediately after college in 1978 and opened his own loft company, Fisher Sails in 1986, and eventually joined North Sails in 1991.
"I look forward to the exciting new challenges the College of Charleston will give me in many areas," said Fisher, who replaces former director of sailing Alice Manard. "I have always thoroughly enjoyed coaching. The College of Charleston has one of the best collegiate programs in the country with great coaches, great facilities and great support from the administration. They have a great group of young sailors as well and I am honored to be a part of their team.
"I'm really looking forward to this new challenge and doing what I can to build on what is already in place there. In brainstorming with the board of directors for sailing, it is obvious there is a lot of room for even more growth and development."
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Fisher majored in economics and was captain of the sailing team at Ohio Wesleyan University before transferring to Miami (Ohio) University to sail on the same team as his brother, Matt Fisher. He earned All-America honors at Ohio Wesleyan in 1975.
In 2000, Fisher co-wrote a book with author Tom Hubbell entitled, "Sailboat Racing with Greg Fisher" published by Hathaway-Jones Publishing. He shares his passion for sailing with his wife, JoAnn, and has four children, Martha (25), Kurt (23), Bessie (19) and Addyson (7), who also enjoy the sport of sailing.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT GREG FISHER
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Greg and our team is very excited to have him join our staff. The university, the community and college sailing, are all very fortunate Greg has decided to accept the director of sailing position." - College of Charleston Sailing Head Coach Ward Cromwell
"What stands out about Greg is the huge influence he's had on so many in sailing. He is very much like Buddy Melges and Lowell North with the way he represents the sport. Guys like Greg Fisher don't come around very often. Greg's legacy at North Sails will remain strong, because he is a wonderful leader and mentor for both North Sails clients and new salesmen within our company. Greg's leadership and knowledge have always made him a great role model for our sales and service teams and although we will miss Greg, he has made us all better sailors, which will ultimately benefit North Sails clients for many years to come." - North Sails One Design President Vince Brun