Mitch Brindley Awarded Herreshoff Trophy

The Herreshoff Trophy: US Sailing's most prestigious award

On February 2, the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) president and head coach of Old Dominion University (ODU), Mitch Brindley, was named recipient of the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy. The Herreshoff Trophy is US Sailing’s most prestigious award. After being donated by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association in 1957, this award is given out annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of sailing in the United States.

Mitch Brindley, Herreshoff Trophy
Mitch Brindley, recipient of US Sailing's Herreshoff Trophy. Photo by Lexi Pline/US Sailing

After having been president of the ICSA for 21 years, Brindley will step down at the end of the spring season. He has guided the ICSA through unprecedented and uneasy times from which the organization has emerged stronger than ever.

Adam Werblow, head coach at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, said, “For the past two decades, Mitch’s selfless and calm leadership has guided the passionate coaches, student athletes, and dedicated volunteers to continuously improve the sport of college sailing. His balanced approach helped our sport to grow and thrive. Simply put, he has helped to make our amazing game even better!” Brindley has supported many different initiatives throughout his time as ICSA president. He oversaw the development of the Women’s Team Race National Championship, the transition from a berth-based national championship qualification system to a competitive at-large selection-based system, and the hiring of the first full-time executive director of the ICSA. His support of student leadership within the ICSA has allowed for current college sailors to have a significant say in how the sport is governed and supports each of its sailors. This has led to the development of The Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity Task Force (ICSA TIDE) which has been at the forefront of the sailing community’s efforts to strive towards becoming more diverse and inclusive. He has enabled student leaders to confront and guide the ICSA on other difficult subjects such as sexual assault and harassment.

Coach Brindley is widely respected across all parts of the sailing community. Reflecting on her time as one of his sailors, Bridget Groble said, “Mitch perfectly exemplifies what a coach should be. He is as committed to producing strong sailors as he is well-rounded young adults… Mitch’s legacy is evident in how his alumni continue to give back to the sport of sailing.” Brindley has produced numerous All-Americans and several Olympic sailors through the ODU program. ODU has secured seven national championships during his tenure.

Dillion Paiva, Navy associate head coach and ODU alum, had this to say about Brindley’s legacy, “I’ve known Mitch for 15 years, while I was a recruit, athlete, and colleague. The entire time I’ve known him, Mitch has also been the leader and figurehead of College Sailing. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who has given more to our sport.” Congratulations, Mitch!