Spina recognized as Coach of the Year
Published on December 3rd, 2018
Colorado Springs, CO (December 3, 2018) – The United States Olympic Committee today announced its annual award recipients for three supporting coaches of the year in 2018. Leandro Spina (sailing) was named Developmental Coach of the Year, Mary Hodge (Para powerlifting) was recognized as Volunteer Coach of the Year and Ingmar Jungnickel (speedskating) took home the Doc Councilman Science Award.
“It’s a privilege to honor these coaches for their tireless efforts serving athletes around the country,” said Alan Ashley, USOC chief of sport performance. “Their dedication to helping athletes strive for excellence is an inspiration to us all.”
National Governing Bodies nominated their 2018 coaches of the year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. Winners were then determined by a USOC selection panel.
Developmental Coach of the Year – Leandro Spina
The Developmental Coach of the Year is presented to a coach at the youth club, high school or junior level, or a coach who is directly responsible for training athletes to reach the junior and/or elite level. After joining US Sailing in 2008 as a national team coach, Spina led the creation of the Olympic Development Program, an initiative designed to identify and support the next generation of U.S. Olympic sailors.
The program has flourished under Spina’s leadership, culminating in its unprecedented success during the 2018 sailing season. For the first time in its history, US Sailing won the Nations Trophy at the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships, one of the sport’s most prestigious awards. U.S. sailors took home five medals – four golds and one silver – the most won by a nation at a single youth world championship event.
Spina currently serves as US Sailing’s Olympic development director and is focused on transitioning the Olympic Development Program into its second phase: preparing youth sailors for Olympic competition in 2024 and beyond. He also served as the US Sailing team leader at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.