US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) has named Steve Keen of Stamford, CT as the Developmental Coach of the Year. As the C420 and I420 Head Coach at LISOT (Long Island Sound Youth Sailing Team) for the past five years, Keen has coached an unprecedented number of sailors to national and international podium finishes. In addition to coaching LISOT sailors, in 2012 Keen served as the double-handed coach for US Sailing’s Youth World Team at the ISAF Youth World Championship, and as a coach for the U.S. team at the I420 World and I420 Junior European championships.
As the nomination from LISOT stated, “Steve has been the driving force behind the I420 class during the past three years, with the vast majority of I420 sailors in the U.S. under his guidance. Steve is also recognized as a leader in C420 and I420 safety, having given numerous briefings on the topic at regional and national events in the U.S.” Keen is also responsible for managing LISOT’s double-handed program in conjunction with LISOT’s volunteer parent manager for double-handed sailing, Michael Rudnick. LISOT now has over 25 active double-handed teams – sailing year-round – in both C420 and I420s.
US Sailing’s selection panel noted that Keen’s commitment to double-handed youth sailing and the results achieved by LISOT sailors is exemplary of LISOT’s mission to provide sailors with the best possible coaching and support on the national and international sailing circuit. “What I tell all my sailors is, I’ll work hard with them and for them,” said Keen. “I am willing to go the extra mile to help them along the way. I want to see them reach their highest potential and win medals.”
Mike Callahan of Washington, D.C., the Head Sailing Coach at Georgetown University, was named the National Coach of the Year. The OSC has nominated Callahan and Keen to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for consideration for the 2012 Coaches of the Year Awards across all Olympic and Paralympic sports. The awards are a part of the USOC Coach Recognition Program, which highlights the accomplishments and contributions of coaches who train athletes at all levels of sailing.
Dana Paxton, US Sailing’s Communications Director, contributed to this report.