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 24th season at the helm for the Monarchs in the 2018-19 season, Brindley has solidified his place among the nation's best sailing coaches.
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. Now in his 22nd season as the head man, he has coached 60 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.
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.
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.