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Former Stanford Sailing Coach Vandemoer Tells His Story

In March 2019, we reported on former Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer’s being found guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering. His life was thrown into disarray when he was fired from his 11-year tenure as Stanford sailing’s head coach.

As we previously reported, Vandemoer, 41, had pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for recruiting two students to Stanford’s sailing team, even though they were not high-caliber athletes. Vandemoer is now preparing to release a book that tells the story of how he was “drawn unwittingly into a web of deceit.”

John Vandemoer was a well-credentialed coach, having trained Olympian and All-American sailors.
© 2021 Harper Collins Canada

In his book, titled Rigged Justice, Vandemoer tells how he was used “as a stooge in a sophisticated scheme designed to take advantage of college coaches and play to the endless appetite for university fundraising — and wealthy parents looking for an edge for their college-bound children.

“The next year of his life was a Kafkaesque hellscape, and though he was an innocent man who never received a dime was the first person to be convicted in what became known as the Varsity Blues scandal.”

Rigged Justice is due to be released on September 28, 2021. You can read the overview from publisher Harper Collins Canada here.


  1. dp 3 years ago

    HAHA, looking at the preview, Stanford is hardly a sailing program that suffers for lack of funding. This is a preposterous, misleading and shameful distortion. i can hardly wait to read (but not buy) the self-serving protests of a convicted, privileged, white racketeer . Prisons are full of innocent people. Is he really claiming to be one of them? Probation? he is the lucky one here

    • Rs 3 years ago

      To be fair, the sailing program at Stanford has for as long as I can remember been underfunded by the university. Stanford’s sailing program competed with west and east coast schools which understood how to fund their programs, while Stanford University funded their program at a level less than a club sport. I can still remember the sailing facilities in Redwood City that were embarrassingly substandard for years. Yes, Stanford University does receive substantial endowments, and is on a financial level far surpassing most other universities, however, very little monies find their way into the sailing program.

    • dp 3 years ago This
      looks pretty regal to me. And did coach return his salary and expense accounts? He made bank. Puhlease. This is bar none, a case of ill gotten gains. I am fine laying the blame with the institution. Poor Stanford. dp

  2. Tim Dick 3 years ago

    I know John & his wife since their time in Hawaii. This is a true tragedy. The moneys raised went 100% to Stanford sailing, John did not take a dime. To add insult to injury, Stanford (disclosure: I’m an alumni) kept the moneys and permanently closed the Stanford sailing program.

  3. Jim Ellifritt 3 years ago

    So he is selling a book, he is the victim. HUMMM, just a manipulator and liar, he defrauded everyone, no he is looking for someone to buy his book. Poor you, you won’t get a penny from me.

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