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I have learned more about leadership on the team than I have anywhere else at the Naval Academy.
The purpose behind the Naval Academy’s sailing program is to train midshipmen for our ultimate goal of becoming officers in the United States Navy of Marine Corps and Coach T has played a tremendous part in doing that.
A truly remarkable mentor and role model, Coach T doesn’t just build young men and women capable of delivering sound performances on the water in collegiate competition; more significantly, he develops teamwork, character, and leadership in our nation’s next generation of front-line leaders. Rather than prioritizing the sailing program for its own sake, Coach T consistently emphasized the importance of our being Midshipmen first, meaning he respected our military and academic obligations and fostered our own personal growth by means of our participation in sailing.
[VOST] practices not only built teamwork and leadership, but would constantly challenge us mentally to come up with novel solutions or react to unexpected problems. Coach is a truly great teacher because he embraces his role of developing leaders for our worldwide team. Very soon I will safely fly Marines to and from combat, confident and grateful that Coach Tihansky has helped me become the man I am today.
What is most unique about Coach Tihansky is that he also recognized that he was not just preparing sailors to go out and win a race on Saturday; he was preparing our nation’s future leaders that would be called on at any moment. As such, there were several lessons he emphasized to us by his word and deed; take the initiative, take care of your people, make no excuses, lead by example, and lead your lives with honor, courage and commitment.