Sailing team hires Dartmouth head coach to lead program

James Pearce. Photo courtesy of GW Athletics Communications.

The sailing team, recently promoted to varsity status, gained its first-ever head coach today with the hire of John Pearce.

Pearce most recently spent three seasons, from 2007-10, as the co-head coach of Dartmouth’s sailing program. During his tenure, the Big Green made two appearances at the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association National Championships, including an eighth place finish at the 2009 Women’s National Championship. Dartmouth’s co-ed team peaked at No. 16 in the nation during Pearce’s time with the program.

“John comes to GW with the right blend of what we value most in our head coaches, and that is a proven history of winning and athletic excellence at other universities with sterling academic reputations like George Washington,” athletic director Patrick Nero said in a release. “He is highly regarded in the sailing world and we’re confident in John’s ability to guide GW sailing from the elite club team that it was into a team that can achieve considerable success nationally in the varsity ranks.”

Pearce graduated from Hobart College in 2004, and worked as an assistant coach for the Hobart and William Smith Colleges for the 2004-05 season, and the program claimed the ICSA Team Racing and ICSA Coed National Championships that year.

He next spent a year as an assistant coach at Stanford from 2005-06. where he helped coach the Cardinals to the Pacific Coast Team Race and Women’s Championships.

“I am really looking forward to leading the George Washington sailing team at such an exciting time in the program’s history,” Pearce said in a release. “This group of student-athletes has shown a great deal of commitment and self-motivation to get the club team to this point. With the transition to varsity status next fall, we will be raising our sights toward being one of the best teams in the country. It will take a whole lot of hard work, but from now on the sky is the limit.”

While a student-athlete at Hobart, Pearce was a two-time All-American, leading Hobart to a second place finish in the 2004 ICSA Team Race North American Championship and a third place finish in the 2004 ICSA Dinghy North American Championship.

He was also on the roster of the 2005 and 2006 U.S. Sailing Teams.

This post was updated June 12, 2012 to reflect the following: The Hatchet incorrectly referred to John Pearce as James Pearce.

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