After having collected nominations earlier in 2014, the US Olympic sailing Committee (OSC) has selected Mark Ivey (Tiburon, Calif.) as US Sailing’s National Coach of the Year for 2013. Ivey was instrumental to the World Championship victory of US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Brian Porter (Fontana, Wisc.) and his Full Throttle Melges 24 racing team. In addition, Ivey served as Training Director for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, and coached Hasso Plattner’s team to a win at the International German Championships (Dragon Class).
'I really am honored to receive the award as coaching has become a major part of my career,' said Ivey, who previously coached the Swedish Star class team to a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. 'I really enjoyed watching Brian Porter and his Full Throttle team cross the finish line winning the Worlds and seeing how much it meant to them and his entire family. He and the guys accomplished a goal they had been working towards for so long, and to help them get to it on my home waters of San Fran was a great feeling. Also watching Hasso Plattner win his first one design event in his home waters in Germany against some rivals he has raced against for over 50 years was pretty special.'
Ben Richardson, chairman of of the OSC, noted that Ivey’s success in 2013 was notable for the wide range of classes that he coached. 'We feel that Mark’s versatility is impressive, as are his consistent results. He approaches each challenge in a highly professional manner, and he is a great example for other coaches in the United States.'
Elaborating on his coaching process, Ivey noted that 'My approach changes every time but has some consistent ideas: Listen first, observe, and then see how to best share the info at the right times. Also a big one is to try and see what a team's strengths and weaknesses are and to work on both.'
Ivey also moved back into the Olympic scene in 2014 by coaching US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca (March 31-April 5). 'I was very excited to be working for the United States again at the international level with our Women's 470 team. I have a huge passion for athletes who strive for the Olympics. I want to share my previous experiences and be part of a new direction with US Sailing.'
Ivey, a repeat winner of the award, is part of an impressive list of previous winners including Michael Callahan (Washington, D.C.), Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), Bill Ward (Newport Beach, Calif.), Zachary Leonard (Branford, CT), Rollin 'Skip' Whyte (Wickford, R.I.), Roger 'Scott' Ikle (Geneva, N.Y.), Serge Jorgensen (Sarasota, Fla.), Jay Glaser (Long Beach, Calif.), Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.) and Luther Carpenter (La Porte, Texas). US Sailing website