The Crimson head coach received his award from ICSA President Mitch Brindley Monday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will officially be inducted into the ICSA Hall of Fame at the end of May (photo courtesy ICSA).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard's sailing head coach and university director of sailing Michael O'Connor was announced as the recipient of the 2012-13 Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Graham Hall Award for Outstanding Service as a Sailing Professional by the organization on Monday.
The ICSA Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to recognize the competitive achievements of undergraduate students and the service contributions of individuals whose efforts promoted the establishment, growth and development of college sailing. The Graham Hall Award annually honors organizers, administrators, advisors or coaches who have served the best interests of college sailing at the club, team, conference or national level.
"I am grateful to receive the Graham Hall Award," O'Connor stated. "Recognition by the ICSA Hall of Fame Committee is a tremendous honor and to be included on the list of amazing professionals is humbling. I am very thankful to my mentor Mike Horn '63 for teaching me how to coach and for setting the example on how to contribute to our sport. I am also very grateful to Bern Novak for being a tremendous coach and enabling me to contribute to the ICSA and NEISA. But I am most appreciative of my wife Jane and her constant support, without which I would not have been able to manage my roles at Harvard, the ICSA and NEISA."
O'Connor joined Harvard as an assistant coach in 1989, before moving into his current position in 1997. He is an active member of the ICSA, as well as the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA), and has taught sailing at a number of clubs throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Since taking over the Crimson program, Harvard has won two national team race championships (2002, 2003), the 2003 national coed championship and the women's national title in 2005. His teams captured five straight Leonard M. Fowle Trophies, awarded to the top team performance at the ICSA North American Championship, from 2001-05, the second longest streak ever of consecutive Fowle Trophies. The Crimson also competed in a national championship event in each of his first 16 years as head coach.
Individually, O'Connor has guided Harvard sailors and crew members to four national sailor of the years distinctions, a quartet of singlehanded championships and 57 All-American honors.
Since the inception of the ICSA All-Academic Team in 2006, O'Connor's student-athletes have been honored 17 times with the award that recognized those who have distinguished themselves in national and intersectional competition, while maintaining the highest levels of academic standards. Additionally, eight members of his teams have earned Academic All-Ivy League honors,
Regionally, Harvard has also won eight New England titles under O'Connor's tutelage, including four singlehanded championships, earned three sailor of year honors and collected 33 accolades
O'Connor will officially be inducted into the ICSA Hall of Fame at the College Sailing Awards Banquet on May 30, 2013, at St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
To view the complete ICSA announcement, please click Hall of Fame.