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Mitch Brindley

Head Coach

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 29th season at the helm for the Monarchs in the 2023-24 season. An ICSA Hall of Famer, Brindley is the second longest tenured head coach at Old Dominion.

Brindley has been the man that has directed ODU to seven national championships, been a part of another as an assistant coach and two more as a student-athlete.  He has coached 70 All-American's, two female Sailors of the Year and an ICSA Sportsmen of the Year.  He was also the personal coach for Olympic Gold Medalist, Anna Tunnicliffe.

In 2023 Brindley was honored with the prestigious Herreshoff Trophy, the award is the most prestigious award in sailing and given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sport. Bridnley also led the women's team to the National Championships where the Monarchs would finish in 12th in the Women's eastern semi-finals. The Monarchs would also make the Co-ed National Championships and would place 13th in the College Sailing Western Semi-finals. 
One of the all-time greats, it became official in 2018 when Brindley was inducted into the ICSA Hall of Fame.

Brindley helped lead freshman Emma Friedauer to a berth in the ICSA Women's single-handed National Championships.

A steady qualifier for the ICSA National Tournament, the Monarchs finished in 13th at the Gill Coed National Championship in 2019. The women's team also qualified for nationals and finished in 10th place in the western semifinals.

Hosting the national tournament in 2018, ODU took ninth in the Gill Coed National Championship after placing sixth in the semifinals. The women's squad again qualified for the national semifinals placing 12th. Brindley helped guide Carter Little and Jeremy Herrin to All-American honors.

ODU qualified for the Gill Coed Nationals again in 2017, placing 11th in the western semifinals. Crew Gabe Smith notched his third-consecutive All-American honor to complete his ODU career.

The 2016 Monarchs finished in fifth place at the Gill Coed National Championships after winning the eastern semifinals. The women's squad also qualified for nationals and took 12th in the eastern semifinals. Smith and partner Esteban Forrer earned All-American honors as a team for the second-straight season. Forrer earned the honor for the third-straight season.

A constant at the national tournament, Brindley guided the Monarchs to a 10th place spot in 2015 in the Gill Coed Eastern Semifinals, just missing a spot in the finals. The women's team earned a spot in the national finals with a ninth place finish in the semifinals, and placed 12th in the finals. Forrer and Smith earned their first All-American honor as a tandem and Forrer's second of his career.

In 2014, the Monarchs qualified for the national finals with a second place finish in the Gill Coed Western Semifinals and sailed to sixth in the finals. The women's team placed fourth in the western semifinals and stayed in the same spot in the finals, notching its best finish since a third place spot in 2010. Three Monarchs earned All-American status, Forrer, Chloe Constants and Julie Wiesner. The honor was the first of Forrer's and Wiesner's career, and second for Constants.

The 2013 Monarchs captured a ninth-place finish at the ICSA/Gill Dinghy Coed National Championships. 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.

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 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.