The History of Team MPI

In the summer of 2009 in Pensacola, Florida, John Murray was working as a research nurse when a triathlon training partner, Andrew Rothfeder, rehashed a 2-year-old conversation where he spoke of a triathlon strength training program at a local high-end gym that was geared to professional athletes. John had recently changed jobs and now was working on the same campus as the high-end gym. In this second conversation, Andrew mentioned an idea about triathlon coaching and asked if John knew of another person that he would like to bring in to hear about this idea. Mark Sortino, who lived in Pensacola as well and had ridden with John a few times, was the first name that came to John’s mind.


Mark and John sat in Andrew’s office for a conference call with a couple of business guys from Colorado who pitched their idea. It was originally framed as starting a USAT Certified Performance Center in the Pensacola, FL area. This sounded like something that John and Mark could wrap their brains around and pull off. There were several more calls, and those Colorado business guys  (Alan Ley, Joe Turcotte and Roger Heroux) flew in for a face-to-face with the facility. After the meeting (Mark and John did not attend) the guys were very enthusiastic about moving forward. At that point, Mark and John were unsure about what their exact roles would be, and at some point, they asked for clarification, ”So, are we just going to be salaried coaches for you?”


They chuckled, “No, we are just coming up with the idea, it’s up to you to make the whole thing work!”


That’s when the true inception of the company began.  


Mark and John signed up for USAT Level 1 Coaching Certification to be held in January of 2010 in Colorado Springs. After completing the multi-day certification class, Roger and his wife Peggy got the entire team over to their house just up the road where the group had dinner and an official meeting with the sole purpose of coming up with a name for the company. Eventually, the group chose Multisport Performance Institute!

The naming of Multisport Performance Institute - January 21, 2010

Top: John, Alan Ley, Roger Heroux

Bottom: Mark, Michelle Cox, Joe Turcotte

 Just a few days later, Mark and John filed Multisport Performance Institute as an “S” Corp in the State of Florida. Following a visit with the company’s new tax attorneys, the two Coaches set about designing multi-day and single-day camps and clinics for the late Spring and Summer in just a few months. Additionally, both coaches then went on to get USAT Race Director Certifications that Spring - they were casting the net wide!


It wasn’t long until they realized that in order to make this company successful, they would have to ultimately quit their full-time jobs and dedicate everything to running the company. Mark quit his two jobs on August 1, 2010, and John in mid-September - they were ALL IN.


It was a busy first year with lots of coaching: both personalized training plans and camps and clinics. Additionally, Multisport Performance Institute put on their first event, the (sold out) Sea Turtle Tri, on beautiful Santa Rosa Island, FL,  with 100 kids ages 6-15.


By the fall of 2010, the long name, Multisport Performance Institute, Inc. was taking its toll! By chance, a designer Mark and John contracted came up with “Team MPI” for a shirt logo. On October 28, 2010, John and Mark found the name available and secured the domain Thus the company starting doing business as “Team MPI”.


Team MPI, from its inception, has been a collaborative Coaching Company. John and Mark began coaching their first athletes together and constantly shared knowledge, questions, and new experiences with each other. Additionally, they always wanted to provide services that they themselves would want as athletes. “Always doing the right thing” was their guide as they felt privileged to coach athletes and were grateful for the joy it brought both of them. These ideas and concepts became the essence of Team MPI and what it does.


Mission for Athletes:

To foster the inclusion of sport in daily life in a balanced and enriching way that provides a sense of purpose, accomplishment and joy.


Mission for Coaches:

To build a community of coaches working in a collaborative and supportive environment to learn, teach and share knowledge in the rewarding profession of endurance coaching.


Below are some highlights throughout Team MPI’s history.​​

The First Year 

  • Mark and John become certified USAT Coaches

  • Multisport Performance Institute, Inc. established in January

  • Website up and running:

  • First of many clinics and camps held at Portofino Island Resort, Pensacola Beach FL

  • Mark and John got their USAT Race Director Certifications

  • Produced first stand-alone kids triathlon on Santa Rosa Island, the Sea Turtle Tri: 100 kids ages 6-15 years old.

    • Cool Fact: Team MPI went on to produce three Sea Turtles Tri’s over 3 years, 3 Jubilee Kids Tri’s in Fairhope, AL over 3 years and 2 Maritime Deluna Du’s in downtown Pensacola FL. All events were eventually taken over by non-profits and triathlon clubs.

  • Mark was one of two Coaches asked to run the first-ever Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Paratriathlon Camp in San Diego in August with 25 paratriathletes.

    • Cool Fact: Both John and Mark went on to run two CAF Paratriathlon Camps a year (one in San Diego and one in Pensacola) from 2011 to 2016

  • October: Mutlisport Performance Institute, Inc starts doing business as “Team MPI” and secures all domains related to


  • March: Team MPI signs fortyninegroup to represent them in all business contracts, strategic planning and all marketing.

    • Cool Fact: We are still with them today and are grateful!​

  • May: First Team MPI qualifies for Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI in AG at IMTX along with Coach Mark (his third time qualifying)

  • June: 1st of over 40 Adult Super Sprints called Portofino Sunset Tri Series (then changed to Portofino Tri Series) from 2011 - 2017. Team MPI takes great pride in welcoming hundreds and hundreds of “first-time triathletes” into the sport of triathlon.


  • April: First out of area, stand-alone Team MPI Camp held in Woodlands, TX for Ironman Texas.

    • Cool Fact: Team MPI has gone on to run over 100 camps from Florida to Texas, to Tennesee to California, to New York to Colorado, Nevada to Idaho and more.

  • June: Team MPI group of athletes are filmed by Endurance Films for an hour-long DVD/Streaming Indoor Cycling session, "Rides Florida - Paradise Road

    • Cool Fact: We still bump into athletes who have trained to that DVD or Streaming video today!

  • Team Semper Fi hires John to go to Lake Placid, NY to run their first Triathlon Camp.

    • Cool Fact: Team MPI still runs multiple camps a year for Team Semper Fi / America’s Fund to this day! Both Mark and John are veterans and are super proud of this relationship

  • Mark gets asked by USAT High Performance department to help build and lead USAT’s first-ever Paratriathlon High Performance Camp held in June in Colorado Springs, CO.

    • Cool Fact: Since 2012, Mark (and often John) went on to Coach Team USA and run their camps as well as act as Head Coach at  ITU World Finals to present day. Coach Chris Palmquist (Team MPI Head Coach in 2015) joined them and continued through 2018.

  • Mark moves to San Diego, CA when asked by CAF to lead their Elite Paratriathlon Team and works for CAF for next three years.


  • Team MPI hires their first additional Coach, Allen Stanfield from Ocean Springs, MS

    • Cool Fact: Allen was originally coached by Mark and started winning all over the Gulf Coast. He is now a Senior Coach and is still podiuming everywhere!


  • Team MPI hires its second Coach in Amanda Leibovitz who brought needed expertise as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant.


  • Team MPI is invited to coach at Team RWB National Triathlon Camp. 

    • Cool Fact: This was the first of two camps that Mark attended with Team RWB. Team MPI was so impressed with Team RWB that it began offering discounts for coaching services to its members. Additionally, Mark met two other athletes who then went on to become coaches for Team MPI: Mark Turner and Laura Henry.

  • Mark leaves CAF and San Diego, CA and moves to Boise, ID.


  • Coach Mark was selected as Head Coach and Coach Chris Palmquist as Assistant Coach for Team USA Paratriathlon that went on to compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the Paralympic Games in August. The Team earned 4 medals including 2 Golds.


  • First Team MPI Coaches Retreat held at Portofino Island Resort in Pensacola Beach, FL.

  • Team MPI changes its logo from “running man” to “Team MPI” logo design by Kiel Johnson of Name Brand Promotions in Boise ID.

  • Coach Mark named 2016 USAT Coach of the Year and featured on the cover of USAT Magazine, 2017 Winter Edition

  • Team MPI officially expands its brand beyond triathlon to Endurance Sports Coaching as the company sees a dramatic increase in athletes competing and training in endurance sports other than triathlon.

  • December: Coach John retires from Coaching and Team MPI to enjoy time with his wife. Mark becomes sole owner of Team MPI.


  • ​​Team MPI officially moves from Pensacola, Florida to Boise, Idaho - Mark’s permanent address.

  • Team MPI annual Coaches Retreat now open to outside coaches and athletes in Houston, TX

  • Coach Chris Palmquist named 2017 USAT Coach of the Year

  • Team MPI hires it’s first non-triathlon Coach and ends the year with 16 Coaches in 10 States


  • Team MPI holds it’s third annual Coaches Retreat in Chicago IL in January (yes we did) which had 18 outside guest Coaches attend on Saturday earning 7 CEUs for USAT and USAC.

    • Cool Fact: The success of this Retreat encouraged Team MPI to hold a second "West Coast" Retreat in Tempe, AZ two days before Ironman Arizona in November.

  • Team MPI holds its first All Women's Tri Clinic in Iowa City, IA

  • Team MPI Coaches first ALL Cycling Camp for over 20 Military Vets for Team Semper FI in Boise, ID.

  • In October, Team MPI sets up and starts its Business and Development and Strategy Group (BDSG) consisting of three coaches within Team MPI with exceptional business skills. Their role is both individual and as a group to help guide Team MPI into 2020 and beyond. 

  • Team MPI holds it's first (of many) WEST COAST Coaches Retreats on November 22, 2019 in Tempe AZ, 2 days before IMAZ. 


  • Team MPI creates and implements the Athlete Rewards Program for those athletes who have been with Team MPI for a year or more. Thank you!

  • Team MPI creates and implements its Coach Bonus Program - rewarding those Coaches who have gone above and beyond with their coaching. 

  • Coach Mark Sortino is selected again to coach Team USA Paratriathlon at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. 

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Multisport Performance Institute, Inc.