USF sailing coach Allison Jolly won the gold medal for the United States in the first-ever sailing event in Olympic history. ORACLE PHOTO/CHUCK MULLER

Out on the water, there’s not much that bothers USF sailing coach Allison Jolly. 

Excluding the occasional visit from the team’s next door neighbors.

“If you get within 100 feet of any of their properties or boats, they come out with the guns pointed at you,” Jolly said. “It’s kind of intimidating.”

Aside from the rare visit from the team’s protective Coast Guard neighbors, Jolly’s 13 years leading the Bulls in her own backyard have been nothing short of smooth sailing.

Since taking over USF’s sailing program in 2004, Jolly has led the Bulls to 12 straight appearances in the Inter-collegiate Sailing Association Women’s Dinghy Nationals every year since 2005, returning to the same waters in which she learned to sail at the age of 9.

After over a decade into her collegiate coaching career at USF, Jolly is set to be recognized as one of the state’s greatest champions with an induction into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Jolly’s commitment to not only the sport of sailing, but her legacy as a teacher and mentor has led her to be elected to this year’s class that includes former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Super Bowl-winning head coach Jon Gruden and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Phil Esposito.

A bay area native, Jolly was born only a few miles from the Haney Landing Sailing Center at USF’s St. Petersburg campus.

As a child, Jolly originally took up swimming to beat the Florida heat. After realizing she was more competitive than other swimmers, her parents encouraged her to continue competing on the water any way she could. Before long, she was on her first

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