Fran Charles
Fran Charles
Title: Sailing Master
Phone: 617-253-2875
Email: fcharles@mit.edu
Year: 22nd at MIT
College: Tufts University

Fran Charles joined the Institute in 1992 as a varsity sailing coach and assistant to former sailing master, Hatch Brown. Now, as the fourth Sailing Master since 1935, Charles is responsible for the entire recreational sailing program with over 2,000 members annually developing sailing skills and using the fleet of over 100 boats.

In 2007, Charles was inducted into the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Hall of Fame and received the Graham Hall Award for Distinguished Service to College Sailing by a Professional. He is a certified umpire for team racing and is often volunteering to officiate at US National and World Championships. Charles's race management skills are sought for junior, national and world level events year in and year out.

Before joining MIT, Charles served as co-director of the Courageous Sailing Center in Boston, which teaches sailing to city children. In 1996 and 1997, he managed the sailing competition for the Massachusetts Special Olympics as well as sponsored multiple clinics, seminars, and competitions for local junior sailors. In 1999, Charles was honored by Mass Bay Sailing with its "Distinguished Service to Yachting" Award.

Charles and his wife, Sue, continue to race competitively together on the winter "frostbite circuits" in New England. Occasionally he competes in the Olympic Star Class and IOD Fleets in Marblehead and Northeast Harbor.

Matt Cohen
Matt Cohen
Title: Head Coach
Phone: 617-253-0649
Email: m_cohen@mit.edu
Year: 8th at MIT
College: Tufts University

Matt Cohen landed at the Institute in the fall of 2006 as one of the head sailing coaches. Responsible for the development and advancement of both the coed and women's sailing teams in their pursuit for excellence, Cohen assists with the Physical Education sailing programs and the maintenance of the Wood Sailing Pavilion's fleet of boats.

Before arriving at MIT, Cohen spent three years as the assistant coach at Roger Williams University. During his tenure at RWU, the sailing team rose to national prominence. Cohen has also been a program director at Wild Harbor and Chapoquoit Yacht Clubs in southern Massachusetts. He also spent three years as an Internet Marketer and eCommerce Director for a boating supply company in Rhode Island.

Originally from Falmouth, Mass., Cohen attended Tufts University and was a member of the Jumbos' sailing team that captured two National Championships. Cohen actively races in a variety of dinghies and small keelboats. Team Racing is one of his strong suits, where he has competed on both the national and international level.

Matt Lindblad
Matt Lindblad
Title: Head Coach
Phone: 617-258-0262
Email: mitsail@mit.edu
Year: 8th at MIT
College: St. Mary's College (Md.) '99

Matt Lindblad enters his eighth season at MIT after serving as the head varsity sailing coach and Waterfront Coordinator at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. During his tenure in Cambridge, he helped guide the Engineers to appearances at the Inter-collegiate Sailing Association Dinghy National Championships in 2008 and 2013.

Under his leadership, RWU became a nationally recognized program with regular finishes in the Sailing World Top 20 National Rankings as well as top finishes at National level events. Lindblad has also enjoyed success as a competitor. In September, 2005, Lindblad competed for the Grey Goose Team Racing World Championship, winning the Team Racing World Championship with USA 1 (Cape Cod Whishbone). Lindblad also won the US Team Racing National Championships (Hinman Trophy) in 2003 and 2004 with Cape Cod Whishbone.

As an undergraduate, Lindblad was a four-year varsity letter winner at the national powerhouse St. Mary's College of Maryland. He was a team captain for the 1999 St. Mary's Seahawks squad, which won the 1999 Collegiate Team Racing National Championships and finished second in Fleet Racing National Championships among other victories. Lindblad has demonstrated his passion for coaching sailing in various capacities since assuming his first post in 1993. While working and going to school in Connecticut after college, he volunteered as an assistant coach for Fitch and Stonington High Schools in Southern Connecticut.

During the summer, Lindblad was the Waterfront Director at Ida Lewis YC in Newport (2003-04) and Advanced Racing Coach at Sail Newport (2005). He served as the Head Instructor/Racing Coach at Ram Island YC in Noank, Conn., from 1993-1998. Lindblad's other sailing successes include wins at Team Racing Mid-Winters (V-15) in 2005, The Newport Regatta (J24) in 2003 and 2005, and the J24 Fleet 50 Season honors in 2004 and 2005. Lindblad has also achieved top-five finishes at V-15 Nationals in 1998 (fifth) and 2000 (second) and is active in the Newport Laser Frostbiting fleet.