Tulane names Charles Higgins sailing head coach

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NEW ORLEANS – Tulane Athletics announces today that Charles Higgins has been named the Green Wave’s first varsity sailing head coach.

As announced in June 2017, sailing will be elevated from club to intercollegiate varsity status beginning with the 2018-19 academic year. Higgins will lead the club team this upcoming season and the transition of the program into varsity status the following season.

“We are extremely excited to announce Charles Higgins as our new Head Sailing Coach,” Tulane Deputy Athletics Director and Chief Operating Officer Mónica Lebrón said. “As we embark upon our inaugural season as a varsity program, we are confident we have the right person at the helm to lead us. From his experience as a student-athlete, to his years of training as an assistant coach at one of the strongest programs in the country at Old Dominion University, we are grateful to have Charles join the Tulane Athletics family.”

Higgins arrives at Tulane by way of Old Dominion where he has served as assistant coach for 10 seasons. Higgins helped guide the team to 25 national championship appearances with 15 top-10 finishes, including appearances at the spring championships every year from 2009-2017.

“I am very excited and humbled to be the first head coach for Tulane University’s sailing program,” Higgins said. “Tulane is an incredible institution with a rich history of excellence both academically and in the greater New Orleans sailing community. I look forward to extending those traditions to new heights and building a program that will make everyone proud. Thank you as well to Mónica Lebrón, Troy Dannen, the search committee, as well as the generous support of alumni and donors for making this possible, and giving me the opportunity to lead this great institution’s newest varsity program.”

Prior to his time coaching at Old Dominion, Higgins got his first collegiate coaching stint at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., and helped guide the Mariners to a national championship appearance in 2008.

On the water, Higgins has coached student-athletes who have gone on to receive 17 All-America honors. Off the water, he helped oversee the academic advancement of the student-athletes in which 25 Academic All-America selections were awarded during his tenure.

In the off-season, Higgins coached many up-and-coming sailors at the youth and post-collegiate levels. He has been a coach for the United States Sailing Association at the 2016 and 2017 U.S. Youth Championship, as well as the 2017 U.S. Youth Women’s Double-Handed Championship.

During the summer of 2017, he was also the selected coach and team leader for the Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s bi-annual ICSA-BUSA tour with a team of U.S. College All-Stars. The team competed against the top collegiate sailors in Great Britain before advancing and ultimately winning the LaserPerformance Collegiate Cup in Campione del Garda, Italy against collegiate teams from all over the world.

During his collegiate career at Old Dominion, Higgins competed in all disciplines within collegiate sailing, including singlehanded, keelboat, match racing, team racing, and coed doublehanded. In 2005, Higgins helped the Monarchs to a sixth-place finish at the ICSA National Championships hosted by the University of Texas in Austin. As a senior, Higgins was named the Old Dominion Sailing MVP and selected to the All-MAISA team.

He graduated from Old Dominion in 2006 with a degree in business management.

Higgins still competes regularly, having won the 2006 National Championship in the Vanguard-15, leading to an invitation to the U.S. Sailing Championship of Champions in San Diego, Calif., where he finished fifth. He also won the U.S. Team Race Association midwinter championship in 2008, the 2015 Hampton One-Design National Championship, and the 2016 United States Team Racing National Championship.

Tulane will be the 15th NCAA Division I school to offer sailing as a varsity sport for women, including Boston College, College of Charleston, Cornell, Dartmouth, George Washington, Georgetown, Hampton, Harvard, Hawai’i, Navy, Old Dominion, South Florida, Stanford and Yale.

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