NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Jerry Jennings will be coaching his third sport and starting up a sport for the second time when the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's sailing team begins its inaugural spring season this weekend.
The Corsairs are the first alternate for Saturday's Southern Series Three Regatta at Salve Regina, which is scheduled to have a field of 21 teams. It's the first of three events on the 2012 UMD spring schedule, which also includes MIT's Wellesley-Boston Invitational on Sunday, April 22nd, and the No Ringer Invitational at Dartmouth the following Sunday, April 29th.
"It's my third sport," said Jennings. "I started coaching diving when Jim Filippo was the swimming coach in 1987, and I agreed to become the swimming and diving coach on an interim basis when he took the job as Director of Facilities. At the same time, I was the head coach when we started women's lacrosse here in 1998."
Jennings has made a smooth transition to his new sport. "(Director of Athletics) Ian Day approached me last year about considering heading up a new program for women in intercollegiate sailing, and I agreed to do so enthusiastically," said Jennings. "We started up in the fall and had a very strong turnout. We selected the team not just based on sailing, but also based on athleticism. As a consequence, we have people who are just learning how to sail and have done astoundingly well in their development. They are a very hard working group led by two excellent captains in (senior) Katie Motta (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS) and junior Shawna Denn (Dracut, MA/Greater Lowell Tech). We also have (freshman) Michelle Guidotti (South Easton, MA/Oliver Ames HS), who has a bit of a sailing background, and (freshman) Katie Medeiros (Fairhaven, MA/Dartmouth HS), who is also accomplished."
UMass Dartmouth is now a member of the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association. "They have been most welcoming, especially Mike O'Connor, the Harvard coach who is the commissioner of the league," said Jennings. "Our schedule is very demanding, the work ethic of our team is unparalleled in my history of coaching, and as we improve, we hope for increasing competitive success."
Jennings credited his assistant and others for their help. "Our assistant coach, Luke Hubert, is a real asset," Jennings said. "He has a vast knowledge of small boat sailing and was the captain of Connecticut's team during his collegiate career. As our program grows, we're looking for increased success, and we're very thankful to be having as a partner the Community Boating Center of New Bedford. We're using their facilities, and they have been 100 per cent supportive of our new team."
UMASS DARTMOUTH SAILING