ICSA Hall of Fame Induction
Published on May 21st, 2013
The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) recently honored four individuals for their contributions to the sport of college sailing by inducting them into the ICSA Hall of Fame. Skye Kussmann (Stonington, Conn.) was recognized with the James Rousmaniere Award for student leadership; Daniel Winters (Hampton, Va.) was honored with the Lifetime Service Award; Michael O’Connor (Foxboro, Mass.) was awarded the Graham Hall Award for Outstanding Service by a college sailing professional; and Sheryl B. “Sherri” Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) was awarded Outstanding Service by a volunteer.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to honor individuals for either undergraduate competitive achievement in sailing or outstanding leadership and service to the establishment, development and growth of the sport. The names of the inductees will be added to the ICSA College Sailing Hall of Fame, which is on permanent display in the Robert Crown Center at the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.).
James Rousmaniere Award for Student Leadership – Skye Kussmann
This award honors an undergraduate for extraordinary achievement in leadership whose efforts made a significant contribution to the development, progress and success of his or her club, team, conference or the ICSA.
Skye Kussmann has been a leader and advocate for growth of her sailing team at George Washington University for the past four years. Kussman helped lead the effort to elevate the status of the George Washington Sailing Team from a club sport to a varsity sport. Her tenacity will benefit the program for many years to come.
Kussmann drummed up support from alumni, students and the college sailing community for her team. After reworking and re-submitting a previously rejected proposal to the school’s administration a new proposal was finally accepted. The George Washington sailing team will complete its first year as a varsity sport in the Mid-Atlantic collegiate sailing conference and her efforts have directly helped promote the sport.
A true team player and competitor she was also instrumental in helping to qualify her team for its first appearance at the Atlantic Coast Championships before the team had a full-time coach. Her teammates and competitors know her for her great sense of humor and positive attitude.
Lifetime Service – Daniel Winters
Recognizing a career of extraordinary service to College Sailing, as a volunteer or professional, Dan Winters has been involved with college sailing for over 22 years. He became the coach at Christopher Newport University in 1991 and was previously inducted into the ICSA Hall of Fame in 2003 when he was honored with the Graham Hall Award for Outstanding Service.
Winters fell in love with sailboats as a kid and started racing as a natural progression in the sport. He says as a coach of the Christopher Newport Sailing Team he discovered that it was far more satisfying when one of his kids won than when he won himself, “They are happy to have won and I am happy that they have won. That’s double the fun,” he says.
Winters has been a critical person in the Mid-Atlantic college sailing conference working as its scheduler. He offers help and advice to new teams in the conference and he has gone out of his way to be sure that smaller clubs receive the attention they deserve.
As chair of the ICSA Development Committee, Winters has helped college sailing outside of the Mid-Atlantic conference and worked to identify issues critical to team development and growing the sport as a whole.
Although Winters will retire from coaching next fall, he will continue to promote and contribute to college sailing through coaching, as a race official and working as the Mid-Atlantic conference scheduler.
Graham Hall Award for Outstanding Service by a College Sailing Professional – Michael O’Connor
This 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.
Mike O’Connor has been the head coach at Harvard University since 1997. In that time his team has seen much success winning multiple national championships and five straight Leonard M. Fowle Trophies for top team performance from 2001 to 2005.
“I love the sport and I enjoy helping to provide the experience of being on a team working together to become the best we can be,” O’Connor says about his passion for college sailing.
O’Connor has been committed not only to the Harvard Sailing Team, but also to the New England collegiate sailing conference and the ICSA. In 2009 he was elected as the Commissioner of the New England conference and has served on numerous other committees in the ICSA.
O’Connor says he is inspired to contribute to his conference and the ICSA by the previous head coach at Harvard, Mike Horn. “He taught me that one of the best things to do for the team and the sport is be involved in the process of governing the game,” he says.
O’Connor is also known as one of the most generous college sailing hosts in New England.
Outstanding Service by a Volunteer – Sheryl B. “Sherri” Campbell
This award honors an individual who has volunteered their time, talent and resources to advance the interests of college sailing at the club, team, conference or national level.
Sherri Campbell has been the Graduate Treasurer of the Mid-Atlantic conference since 1992. She also took on the role of ICSA Treasurer in 2003. Campbell is responsible for all of the tedious tasks of managing money, scheduling calls, managing the website and advising on all issues large and small in college sailing.
She has been called the glue that keeps the Mid-Atlantic conference together and she never lets anything slip through the cracks.
Campbell says she first got involved with college sailing through her mother-in-law Ann Campbell who was the Mid-Atlantic Conference Director. Her husband has judged sailing events and her two sons were active high school and college sailors. She says that it seemed like the best way for her to give back to the sport that her family benefitted so much from.
Advancing technology over the last 20 years have allowed her to take care of all the business she has with college sailing and kept her up to date with sailing across the country.
“Helping in my small way to keep the organizations running and knowing that at 3 p.m. on any given weekday or nearly every day on a school year weekend, there are lots of young people on the water really makes my day,” she says.
The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada. Visit www.collegesailing.org to learn more.
Jennifer Vandemoer Mitchell