The Coaches

Head Coach: Jake Geller

Jake Geller is co-founder and head coach of the ASU Sailing Club. Although he grew up in the Boston area, he first learned to sail after living in Arizona for five years in 2002. He first got involved in the sailing club because of the opportunity to sail a Martin 16 which allows sailors with disabilities to easily get out sailing.

Geller completed his Masters of Mass Communication with an emphasis in print journalism and public relations at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in May 2010 and received his undergraduate degree from the Cronkite School in broadcasting in 2002

In addition to his head coaching responsibilities, he also currently volunteers his time as coordinator for the National Center on Disability & Journalism at the Cronkite School in downtown Phoenix.

Assistant Coach: Steve Swansonsteve

Steve Swanson is the assistant coach for the ASU Sailing Club. He originally joined the club in the fall of 2007 while working on his PhD in archaeology. Before graduating in the spring of 2009, Swanson received his US Sailing Small Boat Instructor Level 1 certification and after graduation stayed on with the club as a volunteer coach.

Swanson started sailing while growing up in Washington state and has been sailing ever since.

He currently works in the Phoenix area as a archaeologist.

Racing Coach: Charles JohnsonCharles Johnson

Charles Johnson is a Graduate of Oregon State University and been with the Arizona State University Sailing Team for the last three spring terms. Coach Johnson holds a Level 3 Coaching, Keelboat Instructor and Club Race Official certificates from US Sailing.

Coach Johnson is the former Head Coach of the University of Oregon Sailing Team, taking them to the Team Race National Championship Regatta as the NWICSA Conference representative in 2012. Coach Johnson has worked the last five years as Youth Sailing Director for the City of Eugene’s Outdoor Recreation Program. Starting in the Spring of 2014 a high school sailing program that had 16 student-athletes from five schools. Coach Johnson has logged over 20,000 nautical miles and raced at the highest levels of the sport including the Champagne Mumm’s Admiral’s Cup in 1989.

Instructor/Coach: Spenser BranchSpenser Branch

Spenser Branch came to ASU originally for the architecture program, but is staying for the unique desert sailing conditions. His skills were formed while sailing for his high school in Santa Barbara, CA, and are being honed by the rigors of intercollegiate sailing.

Branch was president of the sailing club for the 2013-2014 season and graduated with a degree in a Urban Planning with an emphasis in Sustainability in May 2014. Since graduating Spenser is still active as a instructor/coach with the club. He enjoys sailing his Laser or helping teach sailing. He is currently certified as a US Sailing Small Boat Sailing Level 3 Coach.

Instructor/Coach: Gerald Byrnes
Gerald Byrnes

Gerald Byrnes has been sailing from the age of nine on all manner of keelboats and dinghies. Born in Los Alamos, NM, he is no stranger to the desert environment. Also a US Sailing Level 3 Coach, Gerald spends his time helping teach sailing with the Arizona Sailing Foundation. He also served as sailing club president from 2009-2013.

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