New London — U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Richard B. Gaines retired in a ceremony at the Coast Guard Academy June 15 after more than 33 years in the service.
Gaines taught roughly 6,000 cadets during his career as a rotating military instructor at the academy from 1981 to 1986 and as a member of the permanent commissioned teaching staff since 1990.
He was the chemistry section chief and led numerous committees, working groups and projects. Gaines, who has been course director for nearly every chemistry course offered at the academy, was responsible for the development of the marine and environmental sciences major’s capstone course on hazardous materials.
Outside the classroom, Gaines was a long-time participant in the Luders Sail Training Program, serving as program coordinator twice, and was a member of the Admissions Cadet Candidate Evaluation Board for more than 20 years. He was an assistant coach for men’s basketball, women’s basketball and offshore sailing and for the past three years served as the head coach of women’s basketball.
Gaines graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1978 with a degree in physical sciences. He earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Connecticut. He is an expert in multidimensional separations of complex mixtures, including applications to fingerprint spilled oil.
Gaines and his wife, Andrea, live in Old Saybrook. Andrea Gaines, a licensed Coast Guard captain, was the associate head women’s basketball coach at the academy for the past 19 years.