NHSCA
 
National High School Coaches Association

2011

 

2011 NHSCA Coach of the Year



Football – George Smith
St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

After taking the reins as head football coach in 1975, Smith could be found hammering nails and pouring concrete into what would become the visiting bleachers at the school’s football stadium. Smith, 62, then built a program that became renowned at the state and national levels. He retired this spring after 34 seasons at the helm of the Raiders, building a 361-66 record in two separate stints and leading St. Thomas to 13 state championship games and six state titles – four in Class 5A and two in 4A. Smith stepped down after St. Thomas won its first state title in 1992. He returned for the 1995 season and led the Raiders to the state playoffs in all 16 seasons of his second stint, adding state titles in 1997, 1999, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Overall, his teams earned 26 playoff berths and posted a 64-20 playoff record (only Charles “Corky” Rogers of Jacksonville Bolles School, the NHSCA’s National Coach of the Year in 2005, with 66 playoff wins, has more). His 2008 team finished the season ranked No. 1 by the NHSCA and by USA Today, which named Smith its National High School Coach of the Year that year. His final team in 2010, which finished 15-0, also earned national title honors and the NHSCA’s No. 3 ranking. Smith, who came to St. Thomas in 1972 as wrestling coach, has been elected to the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame, the Florida Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame and the Broward County Sports Bureau Hall of Fame. He will remain the school’s athletic director.

 

 

Baseball –Tom O’Connell
Catholic Central High School, Burlington, Wisconsin

The first high school coach ever elected president of the college-dominated American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), O’Connell has spent 42 years coaching baseball. From 1969 through 2000, he coached at Milwaukee Pulaski High School, where his teams won more games than any sport in the school’s history. He led Pulaski to state tournament berths in 1981, when they reached the state semifinals, and in 1989. He has been at Burlington Catholic Central for 11 seasons, and his Hilltopper teams have made the state quarterfinals eight consecutive years. They went on to win four state championships, in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010. O’Connell has twice been named the Diamond Sports National High School Coach of the Year by the ABCA, most recently in 2010, and has been named Midwest Coach of the Year four times. In 1995, he skippered the USA Baseball North Team in the United States Olympic Festival in Colorado, a team that featured four future major leaguers. O’Connell chaired the ABCA’s High School Division from 1984-96, and now serves on its Board of Directors and heads its Ethics in Coaching Award Committee. A former president of the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association, O’Connell organized and ran the group’s annual clinic and convention for 20 years and, in 1991, was named its Man of the Year. He has been inducted into three Halls of Fame: the Old Time Baseball Players Hall of Fame in Milwaukee, the WBCA Hall of Fame in 1987 and the ABCA Hall of Fame in 2007, becoming only the 16th high school coach to be inducted in the ABCA’s 64-year history.

 


Softball – Debbie Holcombe
James F. Byrnes High School, Duncan, South Carolina

An ankle injury as a volleyball player at Southern Wesleyan College added a fifth year to Holcombe’s college career and a second major, physical education, to her business administration major. She’s winning games – and awards – 23 years later. As a rookie volleyball coach at Anderson T.L. Hanna High School in 1989, her team finished 18-4 and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs, earning Holcombe Region 1-4A Coach of the Year honors. She began the first of two stints at Byrnes in 1991 as softball and volleyball coach. Her first volleyball team finished 26-6, won Region 2-3A regular season and tournament titles and earned Holcombe a second Region Coach of the Year award, while her softball team finished 22-4. She then spent eight years in college coaching – six at Southern Wesleyan, where her volleyball teams finished 79-31 and her softball teams 109-33-1, advancing to the NAIA national tournament in 1996, and two at Presbyterian College. There, she coached the volleyball team to a 54-20 record and started the softball program, which went 31-16 in its inaugural season. After returning to Byrnes as softball coach in 2001, Holcombe was named Coach of the Year by the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association and National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 2005, when she led the Lady Rebels to the 4A state title and the first of three consecutive Upper State crowns. They also won a district title in 2004 and were district runners-up in 2003, 2009 and 2010. Holcombe also was the South Carolina High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year in 2008 and a finalist for the National High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year in 2009 after being named Southern District High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

 

 

 

Volleyball – Fred Rakers
Mater Dei High School, Breese, Illinois

The only volleyball coach Mater Dei has ever had, Rakers, 65, brought a sterling 35-year coaching career to an end last fall. His Knights compiled a 41-1 record, and sent him out a winner. Ranked No. 26 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com, Mater Dei’s 15-25, 25-18, 26-24 victory over Joliet Catholic Academy in the 3A state final gave Rakers his sixth state title. With a career record of 1,046-200-7, Rakers stands No. 2 on the all-time victory list among Illinois coaches. The only coach with more victories, Peg Kopec of Wheaton St. Francis High School, was the NHSCA’s National Coach of the Year in 2008. In addition to his six state titles – the Knights previously won championships in 1987, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 2001 – Rakers' teams have won 14 state trophies, having finished second once, third four times and fourth three times in 20 state tournament appearances. He also won four district titles, 24 regional championships, 21 sectional titles and 20 super-sectional championships. Rakers will continue to teach consumer education and career guidance at Mater Dei. His son, Chad, an assistant coach the past four seasons, will succeed him as head coach.

 


Field HockeyWendy Wilson
Tabb High School, Yorktown, Virginia

One of the most respected offensive minds in the sport’s coaching ranks, Wilson has turned Tabb into a small-school Virginia powerhouse since her arrival in 2004. In 2009, the Tigers became just the sixth team in the nation to score more than 150 goals in a season, while posting its second consecutive 24-0 season. That team, which included the first group of seventh-graders she recruited in building Tabb’s program, graduated with back-to-back state championships and the nation’s longest winning streak. Wilson’s 2008 team allowed just six goals all season, earning her Bay Rivers District, region and state Coach of the Year awards, along with South Region Coach of the Year honors from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). The Tigers’ 2009 title earned Wilson the NFHCA’s National Coach of the Year award. Last fall, rebuilding a team that graduated its goalkeeper and its entire defense, Wilson led the Tigers to a 22-3 record, and her team didn’t allow a goal in the state tournament for the third straight year. A standout field hockey and lacrosse player at Christopher Newport University (CNU), Wilson once scored nine goals in a game and holds the school single-game, season and career records in goals and points. She also scored 73 goals in two lacrosse seasons, and is an assistant lacrosse coach at CNU.




Wrestling – Cliff Ramos

Collins Hill High School, Suwanee, Georgia

Ramos, 57, retired last season after a hugely successful run at the helm of the Collins Hill program, the fourth school he coached in a 34-year coaching career, 29 in Georgia. His overall dual-meet record was 626-80. Ramos guided Collins Hill to nine state team titles in Georgia’s biggest class, 5A – five individual state tournament titles and four dual state titles – and his Eagles teams finished in the top three for 11 consecutive seasons. A co-founder and past president of the Georgia Wrestling Coaches Association, he is a 22-time Region Coach of the Year and was selected the state’s Coach of the Year five times – in 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010. His teams were nationally ranked five times in a six-year span. His best team, in 2010, not only reached the top 10, but beat two nationally-ranked teams, including host Easton High, and came within three points of shocking 31-time National Prep champions Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy in the NHSCA Final Four of High School Wrestling. Ramos, who coached 34 individual state champions, was selected Coach of the Year, Georgia Chapter, by the National Wrestling Coaches Association in 2002 and is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Georgia Chapter. He currently serves as Director of Wrestling at Greater Atlanta Christian School, located in Norcross.

 

 

Boys Basketball – Vito Montelli
St. Joseph High School, Trumbull, Connecticut

The state’s all-time leading winner with a record of 853-329 (a .722 winning percentage), Montelli, 78, the only basketball coach St. Joseph has ever had, completed his 49th season with a record 10th state title. With a 79-53 victory over Fairfield College Preparatory School in the Class LL title game, Montelli’s Cadets (23-3) became the only Connecticut team to win state titles in all four classifications. He previously coached St. Joseph to five titles in Class L and two each in Class M and Class S. St. Joseph previously won titles in 1975, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2001, and have advanced to 16 state title games. That included 10 appearances in a 13-year span from 1985-1997. In 1992, Montelli was named National Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association, and in 1995, he was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In 1998, he received the Gold Key Award when he was inducted into the Connecticut Hall of Fame by the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance. In 2002, Montelli received the Frank Maguire Foundation Award from the New York Athletic Club. He was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. He has had 25 players receive McDonald’s All-American recognition, and he coached the East squad in the McDonald’s All-American Game in 1990. He was featured in the Faces in the Crowd section of Sports Illustrated magazine in April.

 

 

Girls Basketball – Kevin Kiernan
Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, California

Believe it or not, Kiernan’s first job after graduating from college was as a sportswriter – at the Orange County Register and the Anaheim Bulletin. Not fond of the late nights, Kiernan landed the head coaching position at Westminster La Quinta High School, which had won just eight of 82 games in the three seasons prior to his arrival. Over the next five seasons, La Quinta went 110-79 and made a state tournament appearance under Kiernan, who has gone on to put together 20 glittering seasons. From La Quinta, Kiernan moved on to Fullerton Troy High School. In 11 seasons, his teams went 317-33, never lost a Freeway League game (going 110-0 in those games), and won five Southern Section titles and three state championships. The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) named him the Russell Athletic/WBCA National High School Coach of the Year in 2006. In four years at Mater Dei, Kiernan’s teams are 123-7, and he owns a 613-109 career record (a .849 winning percentage). This year, his Monarchs finished 34-1, ended the season on a 26-game winning streak and won their second consecutive state championship – in Division 1AA this year after moving up from Division II a year ago – giving him five state titles overall. This year’s title made Mater Dei the first girls basketball team in five years to finish No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25 in consecutive seasons, and the newspaper named Kiernan its National Coach of the Year in 2010. The Register named him its Coach of the Year this season.

 

 

Boys Cross Country – Adam Kedge
Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Kedge has coached the boys cross country and track and field teams at Albuquerque Academy for the past 19 seasons, and has been the head coach of both sports since 1998. His teams have won 11 4A state championships in cross country. The Chargers won titles his first five seasons, 1998-2002, and also own a pair of three-year streaks, in 2004-2006 and the past three seasons, 2008-2010. He has led the boys track and field team to nine state crowns – in 1999 and eight of the past 10 years, most recently in 2009 and 2010. Ten of his athletes hold 4A state track and field records, one an all-state record. Under Kedge, the Chargers have been ranked No. 1 nationally twice by The Harrier High School Cross Country Report. The Chargers own 14 district titles, 13 City of Albuquerque championships, 84 meet victories and four undefeated seasons in the past 11 years. Kedge has coached seven cross-country runners to state medalist honors, with two becoming Foot Locker National All-Americans and one a USA Junior World Team member. Kedge was named Regional Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 2001 and 2003. A 10-time state Coach of the Year in cross country and track and field, the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame honored Kedge as its Coach of the Year in 2006. He is the former president of the New Mexico Track and Cross Country Coaches Association.

 

 

Girls Cross Country – Jim Tracy
University High School, San Francisco, California

In 1995, Tracy, 60, gave up a secure corporate career, steady income and conventional lifestyle for a part-time position coaching University’s high school runners. Seventeen seasons later, Tracy is the most decorated girls cross country coach in California history. When his girls dug down deep to repeat as Division V state champions last fall, it was a record eighth state championship for Tracy, awarded Coach of the Year honors by the California Coaches Association in 2004. The Red Devils previously won titles in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2009, while finishing second in 1995, 1999 and 2000. His boys teams finished second in state in 2001 and 2007 and third on five other occasions. His Red Devils have combined for 25 Bay Counties League titles and 20 North Coast Section titles, 10 each for the girls and for the boys. Tracy’s eighth state title came five months after he was diagnosed with a terminal illness, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. And at the state meet, one of his runners, junior captain Holland Reynolds, collapsed yards short of the finish line due to dehydration, then crawled across the line, allowing her finish to count toward the Red Devils’ winning total. That title run was profiled on ESPN’s Outside the Lines series in April, and the National Federation of State High School Associations presented Tracy and his team with the Region 7 Spirit of Sport award this year.

 

 

Boys Golf – Larry Ries
Hunterdon Central High School, Flemington, New Jersey

Ries has coached four sports at Hunterdon Central over more than 30 seasons. He has more than 800 victories as a varsity head coach in golf and boys soccer, and also had successful runs coaching the Red Devils’ freshman basketball and baseball teams. Ries is currently in his 30th season as golf coach, for which he also was named National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations this year. Last spring, Ries guided the Hunterdon Central golfers to Team of the Year honors from The Newark Star-Ledger. The Red Devils posted a 16-1 record in 2010, winning Hunterdon County and Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament championships and Skyland Conference, Group 4 Central-South Jersey Section, state and Tournament of Champions titles, the latter the second of Ries’ career. Through last spring, his teams had a record of 467-105-1 and won 19 conference titles, 10 sectional titles, four Group 4 state titles and the 1992 Tournament of Champions title. Ries was named Coach of the Year by The Star-Ledger in 2008 and the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association in 2010. He also started the girls golf team at Hunterdon Central. As the school’s soccer coach for 29 seasons, retiring in 2007, Ries’ teams had a record of 332-177-63, with 26 winning seasons and four Central Jersey Group 4 sectional final berths.

 


Girls Golf – Ryan Best
St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Overland Park, Kansas

Best holds an interesting dual role at St. Thomas Aquinas. He is the chairman of the Theology Department…and has been the coach of the boys golf team since 1997 and the girls golf team since 1999. He has held numerous campus ministry positions, including director of the KAIROS Retreat Program, and has coached basketball and volleyball at the school in addition to golf. Last fall, Best guided the Raiders girls golf team to a state-record fifth consecutive team title, shooting a state-record score of 303 to win the 5A title by 66 strokes. It was Best’s sixth girls state championship, his first coming in 2002. He also has had one of his girls golfers win medalist honors seven times, including each of the past five seasons. The Kansas Coaches Association named Best Girls Coach of the Year in 2003. Best’s boys teams have qualified for state every year of his tenure, and broke through to win back-to-back 5A titles in 2007 and 2008, to go with five state runnerup finishes, two third-place finishes, two fourth-place finishes and a sixth-place finish. He has coached four boys to state medalist honors, and nearly 20 of his golfers have gone on to earn college scholarships. Best was guest speaker at the National High School Golf Association annual conference in 2007 and also created and directed “Golf for the Soul,” a summer golf retreat program for players of all ages. Best played basketball and golf at Benedictine University in Atchison, Kan. and earned a master’s degree from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas.



Boys Soccer – Jerry Little
North Central High School, Indianapolis, Indiana

Little’s teams have won more state championships – five – since the Indiana High School Athletic Association first sanctioned the boys state tournament in 1994 than any other school. Little guided the Panthers to state-sanctioned titles in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2002 and 2005 (seven overall), along with seven state championship games and eight trips to the state’s Final Four in the state-sanctioned era. He came to North Central in 1984 after three seasons at cross-town Broad Ripple High School, and his record on the Panthers’ sideline is 453-86-48, including a 12-2-1 mark last fall. His 1993 and 1994 teams, both of which finished 25-0, earned No. 7 final rankings from USA Today, and six of his teams were nationally ranked. His teams have won 17 conference titles, and sectional, regional and semi-state crowns 10 times. Little has won over two dozen Coach of the Year awards, including six state Coach of the Year awards from the Indiana State Coaches Association (ISCA). The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) named him its Division I Regional Coach of the Year in 1994, 1995 and 2002 and presented him with its National Merit Award in 2001. Little was inducted into the Indiana Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003 and the ISCA Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2007, the National Federation of State High School Associations named him its National Coach of the Year.

 

 

Girls Soccer – Hank Tenney
Rivendell Academy, Orford, New Hampshire

Tenney, 67, retired from a 30-year coaching career after leading the Raptors to a 17-1 record and their first-ever Vermont Division IV state championship last fall, the sixth soccer title of his career. That achievement earned him NSCAA Division II National Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career. Tenney previously won the award in 2001 at Hanover (N.H.) High, where he coached for 27 seasons. His career record as a soccer coach was 432-79-17, including a 36-12-1 mark in three seasons at Rivendell. He led Hanover to the state tournament in each of his 27 seasons, never had a losing season and reached the 250-victory plateau faster than any coach in New Hampshire history. His teams advanced to eight state title games and won five state titles. Tenney was named the state’s Coach of the Year eight times, the New England Coach of the Year in 2001 and was inducted into the New Hampshire Soccer Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1998. The National Federation of State High School Associations named him its National Girls Soccer Coach of the Year in 2006. Tenney also was a successful girls basketball coach, leading Sunapee (N.H.) High to back-to-back Class S state titles in 2006 and 2007, and led Hanover’s softball team to a state title in his only season as coach in 1983. He will remain the Director of Parks and Recreation for the town of Hanover, a position he has held for 33 years.



Boys Swimming – Art Downey
Edina High School, Edina, Minnesota

Downey retired from a 34-year teaching career nearly two decades ago, but at age 83, he is still going strong as the school’s swimming coach. He just completed his 55th year at Edina-Morningside High School, Edina and Edina East High School, when the district had two high schools. His teams have won 10 state titles – in 1965, 1967, 1968, 1984, 1986, 1987, 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010 – and posted a career dual-meet record of 483-141-1. That included a 24-1 record this past season, when the Hornets finished third in state. His swimmers produced three individual event wins this year, giving Downey 58 career winners. Named district Coach of the Year 11 times, state Coach of the Year six times and a National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) National Coach of the Year, Downey has served in every swimming leadership capacity in Minnesota. He was a co-founder of the Minnesota Swimming Coaches Association, has served as chairman of the Minnesota Swimming Hall of Fame since its inception in 1978 and has served as NISCA’s Minnesota state delegate since 1980. Downey is a member of seven Halls of Fame, most recently his induction into the NISCA Hall of Fame this year.

 

 

Girls Swimming – Brian Gross
Charlotte Catholic High School, Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte Catholic had a successful swimming program before Gross arrived at the school nine years ago, and he has elevated that tradition. His girls teams have won the state team title in every one of his nine seasons at the helm, winning Class A-AA state crowns from 2003-2005 and 3A titles the past six seasons. The Cougars have won the past seven state meets by an average margin of 146 points, and their overall streak of state titles currently stands at 10 (with 12 titles overall). His swimmers own seven of the 12 existing state meet records, and with all 18 scorers returning next season, his Cougars seem assured of stretching their overall streak to 11. Gross also guided the boys team to four straight team titles, from 2005-2008, and his boys finished second in state the past three years. Named Coach of the Year by The Charlotte Observer in 2006, 2008 and again this year, Gross is a 1997 graduate of Wright State University, where he was a four-year member, captain and Most Valuable member of the swimming team, was the director of the Raider S.K.I.L.L.S. Program and Assistant Director of Special Olympics Swimming. Gross has been Vice President and Senior Recruiting Consultant at Wells Fargo Bank since 2005, and holds the Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) certification.

 

 

Boys Tennis – Kelly Mulligan
Gulliver Preparatory School, Miami, Florida

Mulligan has coached the boys and girls teams at Gulliver Prep for 22 seasons, and now owns a total of 11 2A state team titles. Seven of those have been won by her boys teams, which have finished in the state’s top two in nine of the past 10 seasons. This spring, her boys team, which included just one senior and five freshmen, rolled to its fifth consecutive state team title by scoring a clean sweep, capturing all five singles titles and both doubles titles for a perfect 21 state tournament points. The only other boys team in any class to achieve a perfect score of 21 in the last decade: Gulliver Prep’s 2009 state championship team. Her boys teams also won titles in 2003 and 2005, finishing second in 2002 and 2004. Mulligan also has coached two boys to individual singles titles and three doubles teams to state crowns. One of them, current Northwestern University standout Raleigh Smith, was named the NHSCA National High School Athlete of the Year in 2010. Gulliver Prep’s five consecutive titles are the state’s longest current streak and the third longest in state history, and their seven titles are fifth best in state history. The Miami Herald named Mulligan the All-Dade Boys Coach of the Year in 2008, and she was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Florida Coach of the Year in 2009, after previously being awarded the state’s 2A honor.

 

 

Girls Tennis – Anita Murphy
Lewiston High School, Lewiston, Maine

Now retired from teaching, Murphy led two girls sports powerhouses at Lewiston, and her resume includes a combined 20 state championships. She is starting her 34th season as girls tennis coach, and under her direction, the Blue Devils are the five-time defending Class A state champions. Her teams have made 18 trips to the state championship match and won 11 state titles overall, along with 13 Eastern Maine regional titles and 16 conference titles. Murphy’s career record is 391-56, and entering this season, her teams had not lost a match since the 2005 regional. Murphy also led the Lewiston girls soccer team to nine state titles, ending a run of 30 years as head coach with a third straight state title in 2009. Murphy has received the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame Presidential Award 11 times and will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. A recipient of the USA Tennis New England Junior Tennis Chapter of the Year award for her work with Lewiston’s youth tennis program, Murphy was named the Maine Tennis Coach of the Year in 2001 and was recognized by the National Federation of State High School Associations as its National Girls Tennis Coach of the Year in 2008. This spring, she was one of five recipients of the Unsung Heroines in Maine Sports awards presented during the Mentoring Women in Sports XIII Conference, hosted by the Maine Principals Association.

 

Boys Track and Field – Robbie Robinson
Mountain View High School, Mesa, Arizona

Robinson’s career spans over 50 years in two different states, including 31 seasons as a boys and girls track and field coach. He started his career in Minnesota, where, in addition to his teaching and coaching duties, he served 10 years as an athletic director and was the founder and first meet director of the prestigious Mayo Invitational in Rochester. He came to Mountain View in 1988, and during his career, he has led both the Toros boys and girls teams to four state titles. His boys teams won 5A state titles in 1994, 2000, 2003, and 2004 and also earned eight state runnerup finishes, in 1988, 1989, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2008, and 2010. Through his first 20 seasons, his teams recorded a dual-meet and multi-meet record of 2,819-119 and also won 20 region titles. His girls teams were state champions in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1997. He typically has about 130 boys out for track and field, and during his tenure as the girls coach, about 100 girls typically came out for the sport. A five-time Arizona Coach of the Year, Robinson was a three-time Region Coach of the Year selection by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA), and the NHSACA named him its National Coach of the Year in 2008. Robinson was awarded the Victory with Honor Coach of the Year award by the Arizona Interscholastic Association this year.

 

 

Girls Track and Field – Susan Curnias
William H. Hall High School, West Hartford, Connecticut

 The second NHSCA National Coach of the Year from William H. Hall in as many years, Curnias is the only woman to be named Coach of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) in three sports. She was 78-37 in nine seasons as Hall’s gymnastics coach and was named Coach of the Year in 1980. In 27 years as Hall’s cross country coach, Curnias is 338-97-1, winning a Class L state title in 1987 and Coach of the Year honors in 1988. And Curnias is in her 34th season as Hall’s track and field coach. The 1990 Coach of the Year, her teams won Class L and State Open titles in 1986 and have finished second in state five times, including three straight Class LL runnerup finishes in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and have won 11 Central Connecticut Conference Western Division titles. She also coached swimming for two years at another West Hartford school, Conard High School, with a 14-5 record. Inducted into the CHSCA Hall of Fame in 2005, Curnias was named National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 1992. The NHSACA named her Region Coach of the Year in track and field in 1991 and in cross country in 2004. At the 40th annual Lindy J. Remigino (NHSCA Boys Track and Field National Coach of the Year in 2002) Outdoor Track and Field Invitational next month in New Britain, the women’s 100-meter hurdles has been renamed the Sue Curnias Women's 100m Hurdles in her honor.


 

2010

Football – Jeremy Williams 
Greenville High School
Greenville, Georgia

A standout safety at the University of Memphis from 1990-93, Williams has coached at Greenville,  a school in a town of fewer than 1,000 people playing in small-school Class A, for the past eight seasons. He has led his teams to a 47-37 record and three state playoff appearances. So those numbers don’t impress you? Maybe this will: Williams coached the Tigers to a perfect 10-0 regular-season record last fall – they were eliminated by the eventual state champion in the second round of the playoffs to finish 11-1 – after he was diagnosed with a terminal illness, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Riding to practices in a golf cart, sometimes having to lean on his players as he coached, he still inspired Greenville to heights the program hadn’t seen since its last unbeaten season in 1992. The ABC television series, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, rebuilt Williams’ house to accommodate his health issues and those of his 6-year-old son, Jacob, who was born with spina bifida and is confined to a wheelchair, as well as the Greenville High School field house. Williams was named the Atlanta Falcons’ High School Coach of the Week for Nov. 23, and his was voted Sports Story of the Year for 2009 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

 

Baseball – Jerry Dawson
Chaparral High School
Scottsdale, Arizona

The only baseball coach Chaparral has had since the program’s inception in 1974, Dawson has led the Firebirds to a record of 773-301 and 34 trips to the state playoffs in his 36 seasons at the helm. His resume includes 23 region championships, 19 appearances in the state’s final four, 12 trips to the state title game and eight 4A state championships – in 1994, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. Moving up to 5A Division 2 this season, his team finished 20-12. More than 140 of his players have gone on to play college or professional baseball, including current major leaguers Paul Konerko and Brian Bannister. A nine-time state Coach of the Year, Dawson was awarded the Victory with Honor Coach of the Year award by the Arizona Interscholastic Association in 2004 and previously won four national Coach of the Year awards, most recently the Easton/Collegiate Baseball Master Coach of the Year award in 2009. He was inducted into the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002, the Arizona Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009. Dawson was an assistant coach on the USA Baseball Junior National Team that competed in the World Games in Chinese Taipei in 2004, and was the head coach of the USA Baseball Junior National Team that won the silver medal in the Pan-Am Games in Villa Hermosa, Mexico in 2005.

 

Softball – Robert Iamurri
Naples High School
Naples, Florida

In 25 years at the helm, Iamurri has presided over a team that not only owns many of the state’s softball records, but has become one of the nation’s most highly regarded programs. Iamurri led the Golden Eagles to seven 4A state titles in an eight-year span – from 1989-96 – and their 10 state titles are more than any other Florida school. Iamurri has guided his teams to 646 victories, including a sparkling 115-8 record the past four years. That run included Naples’ most recent state title, in 2008, an accomplishment that earned Iamurri Spring Coach of the Year honors from the Naples Daily News. A perennial fixture at or near the top of the national polls, the Golden Eagles finished 28-2 this season and were ranked No. 1 nationally before falling in the state championship game, 3-2 in a nine-inning marathon. Of Iamurri’s 646 wins, 70 have come in state tournament play – also a state record – against just 12 losses. He has guided Naples to 22 state playoff appearances, and recorded at least one win in 21 of those. Named the state’s Coach of the Year in 1994 and 1996, Iamurri was inducted into the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009.

 

Volleyball – Laurie LaRusso
Darien High School
Darien, Connecticut

LaRusso has built a volleyball powerhouse at Darien. This year, she led the Blue Wave to its second 25-0 season in the past three years. Not only did Darien go 25-0 in both seasons, but the Blue Wave didn’t lose a single set in either season. Since taking over in 1982, her teams have compiled a record of 536-79, with 11 unbeaten seasons. Since 1993, her teams are an astounding 412-10, with six of the losses coming in the 2000 season; once owned a 139-match winning streak; and is riding a current 49-match winning streak dating back to 2008. LaRusso has guided Darien to 19 Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference titles and 15 Class L state titles, and in both, her teams will enter next season as the 11-time defending champions. She was named National Coach of the Year by PrepVolleyball.com in 2007, the first coach from an East Coast school to receive the honor, and the Connecticut Sports Writers Association named her the Doc McInerney Female Coach of the Year in 2009. She was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007.

 


Field Hockey – Danyle Heilig
Eastern Regional High School
Voorhees, New Jersey

Eastern was a field hockey powerhouse before Heilig arrived, and she has elevated that tradition. In 12 seasons as a head coach, one at Haddon Heights High School and 11 at Eastern, Heilig’s teams have compiled an overall record of 275-8-9, the best career winning percentage of any high school coach in any sport, and once owned a 153-match unbeaten streak. At Eastern, Heilig is 255-2-5 against New Jersey opponents, including a 57-1 playoff mark. She was named United States Coach of the Year by TopOfTheCircle.com in 2009 after leading the Vikings to a 26-2 record, its 11th consecutive Group 4 state championship and its third Tournament of Champions title in four years. One of the two defeats came on penalty strokes to Kingston (Pa.) Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School, coached by the NHSCA’s 2009 National Coach of the Year, Karen Klassner. An offensive juggernaut, Eastern outscored its eight state playoff opponents by a combined 63-4 margin, and the Vikings led the nation in scoring with 206 goals, becoming just the second high school team ever to pass the 200-goal mark. Eastern received the Newark Star-Ledger Trophy as the state’s top program for the ninth time in 10 years.

 

Wrestling – Barry Chooljian
Timberlane Regional High School
Plaistow, New Hampshire

Chooljian recently completed his 23rd year at the helm of the Timberlane program. With a record of 385-40-5 as of January 4, 2010, he will pass the 400-victory mark early next season. This year, the Owls finished 23-1 – the lone loss to powerhouse Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy – and finished 10th in the prestigious Beast of the East tournament. The Owls won their 11th consecutive Division 1 state championship, setting a state record with 314 points. Timberlane has taken the Division 1 crown 17 of the past 18 years, and the Owls followed that by winning the Meet of Champions all-class state meet for the seventh straight year, and the 14th time in the past 16 seasons. Timberlane also has set the standard in the New England Championships. In 2009, by winning their seventh New England team title, Timberlane became New England’s all-time winningest program, and this season the Owls extended that record with their eighth title. Timberlane has won three straight New England titles, five in the past six seasons and seven titles this decade, and 15 Owls wrestlers have won New England crowns under his direction. Five Timberlane wrestlers have earned NHSCA All-America honors, led by 2002 Senior Nationals champion Matt Smith. The National Federation of State High School Associations followed the NHSCA’s lead by naming Chooljian its National Wrestling Coach of the Year this year.

 

Boy's Basketball – Harvey Kitani
Fairfax High School
Los Angeles, California

Kitani has guided Fairfax, one of southern California’s storied programs, to the state playoffs in each of his 29 seasons as head coach, as well as several appearances in national rankings. In 30 years on the bench – his first year was at San Fernando High – he owns a career record of 620-209, including a 607-197 mark at Fairfax. His teams have won 16 league championships, three Los Angeles City championships and two Division 1 state titles. Kitani is a two-time winner of the John R. Wooden Award, as California Coach of the Year in 1999 and as National Coach of the Year in 2004, after guiding Fairfax to the state championship. He also led Fairfax to the 2007 state title. He also earned Coach of the Year honors from the California Coaches Association in 2005. In 2006, Kitani was the head coach of the West team in the McDonald’s All-American Game. Kitani has been part of the coaching staff for the Nike All-American Camp for 10 years, and more than 100 of his players have gone on to earn college scholarships.

 

Girl's Basketball – Cathy Self-Morgan
Duncanville High School
Duncanville, Texas

A 31-year coaching veteran, Self-Morgan just completed her 10th season at Duncanville, finishing 33-4, leading the Pantherettes to the regional final and finishing the season ranked No. 18 statewide in 5A. Her 2003 team won the 5A state title, the fourth of her career, and she owns a career record of 844-191. Prior to her stint at Duncanville, Self-Morgan coached a powerhouse at Austin Westlake High School, leading the Chaparrals to three state championships – the 4A title in 1993 and back-to-back 5A crowns in 1995 and 1996. Her teams have made 22 state playoff appearances, and none of her teams have finished with a losing record. A four-time Texas Coach of the Year, she was honored 10 times as Central Texas Coach of the Year between 1980 and 1996. Self-Morgan has coached in five Texas All-Star Games, was a floor coach for the USA Junior Olympic Trials in 2000 and twice has coached the West team in the McDonald’s All-American Game, in 2004 and again this year. Self-Morgan was a two-time Most Valuable Player at the University of Texas, and was the school’s Scholar-Athlete award recipient as a senior in 1977.

 

Boy's Cross Country – Walt Lange
Jesuit High School
Sacramento, California

Lange is completing his 41st year as a boys and girls cross country coach and boys track and field coach, the last 37 at Jesuit, and those teams have combined for 37 league titles. He has led Jesuit’s boys cross country team to 25 Sac-Joaquin Section (SJS) titles, including a section-record 15 straight, and nine California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) state titles, more than any other SJS school. Lange also has guided the girls cross country team to four SJS titles, and in 15 years as head coach, his boys track and field teams also took four SJS titles (he has spent the past 23 seasons as an assistant coach). Lange was named Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year by the California Coaches Association in 1981, and he was one of 13 coaches statewide to be honored with the highest honor the CIF bestows upon its coaches, the Model Coach Award, for the 2007-08 school year. Later this year, Lange will be inducted into the SJS Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class.

 

Girl's Cross Country – Darrell Burmeister 
Nodaway Valley High School
Greenfield, Iowa

The 30-year coaching veteran is the head coach of four sports at Nodaway Valley – boys and girls cross country, boys basketball and boys track and field – and has led three of those programs to state titles. He has led the girls cross country team to 12 state tournament appearances in the past 13 seasons with 10 top-eight finishes, including the 2A state title last fall. The National Federation of State High School Associations named Burmeister its National Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2007. His boys cross country teams advanced to the state meet eight straight years, winning the A state title in 2002 and adding 2A runner-up honors in 2003. A seven-time Southwest Region Coach of the Year, Burmeister was the state’s A Boys Coach of the Year in 2002 and Girls Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2009. Burmeister also led the Wolverines boys basketball team to the 2A state title in 2006, again earning Coach of the Year honors, as well as a runner-up finish in 2005 and third place in 2007. In 17 seasons, his teams have a record of 312-52 and have won 10 conference titles and six district crowns.

 

Boy's Golf – Darrell Berglund 
Hazen High School
Hazen, North Dakota

Berglund was the coach of both the boys and girls golf teams at Hazen, single-handedly overseeing the progress of teams whose combined numbers totaled 75 golfers or more. When his wife, Girls Golf Coach of the Year Kathy Berglund, took over the girls team in 1996, Berglund concentrated on the boys team and has done so since. The Titans broke through to win the Class B state title the past two seasons, Berglund’s first two championships after multiple high state finishes. A 1979 graduate of Valley City State University who teaches science at Hazen Middle School, Berglund was named Class B Coach of the Year by the North Dakota High School Coaches Association in 1993, 1994, 2003 and 2005, and was named Region 5 Coach of the Year in 2008. The National Federation of State High School Associations named Berglund its state Coach of the Year in 2006, and he is a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s National Coach of the Year award this year.

 

Girl's Golf – Kathy Berglund
Hazen High School
Hazen, North Dakota

Berglund was a lower-level basketball, volleyball and track and field coach team-teaching sixth-grade science, English and reading at Hazen Middle School before agreeing in the early 1990s to help her husband, Darrell, who at the time was the head coach of both the boys and girls golf teams. In 1996, she became the head coach of the girls team, and the rest is history. Hazen’s girls won the first of seven Class B state titles on Kathy Berglund’s resume that year. That includes back-to-back titles the past two seasons. Her teams also have finished second in state five times, third once and sixth once, and 25 of her golfers have won All-State honors. That 1996 championship also brought Berglund the first of eight Class B Coach of the Year awards from the North Dakota High School Coaches Association, a run that included four straight awards from 2003-06. She was named National Girls Golf Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 2005, and was a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s National Coach of the Year award in 2006.

 


Boy's Soccer – Chuck Scanlon
Apple Valley High School
Apple Valley, Minnesota

Through this school year, Scanlon, a 34-year coaching veteran, was the only coach in the history of two Apple Valley sports teams: boys tennis and girls ice hockey. He also coaches the school’s freshman baseball team. He has coached the Eagles boys soccer teams to a record of 518-87-49, and last September, he became the state’s all-time winningest coach. Last fall, Apple Valley finished 24-0 and won its eighth state championship, also tops among Minnesota boys and girls soccer teams. Scanlon previously coached Apple Valley to titles in 1984, 1988, 1989, 1992 in the single-class era and AA titles in 1997, 1998 and 2006, and his teams have made 16 state tournament appearances. His team was ranked No. 5 nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and No. 8 by ESPN/Rise, and he was named National Coach of the Year by both organizations. After 14 seasons as an assistant coach with the Apple Valley boys hockey team, Scanlon assumed the reins of the girls team when the Minnesota State High School League first sanctioned the sport in 1994, winning state titles in 1995 and 1998 and finishing third in 2003 before retiring as the team’s coach at the conclusion of this season.

 

Girl's Soccer – Troy Tokarchik
Bishop Kelley High School
Tulsa, Oklahoma

A graduate of Bishop Kelley who received his bachelors and master’s degrees from the University of Tulsa, Tokarchik has two passions: teaching math and coaching girls soccer, which he has done for the past 11 seasons. The latter has been obvious, as he led the Lady Comets to state titles in each of his first nine seasons. Those stretched the school’s overall winning streak to 10, a state record in soccer. The first six titles, from 2000 through 2005, were in 4A. When soccer expanded to six classes the next year, Bishop Kelley moved up to 5A, where Tokarchik’s teams added three more titles, in 2006, 2007 and 2008. His teams own an overall record of 172-8, a .956 winning percentage, and built a 50-match winning streak that spanned three seasons, from 2006 to 2009. The state title streak ended in 2009 with a loss in the state semifinals, but Tokarchik’s team started a new streak this year, posting a 17-1 record in the process. The state’s Coach of the Year in 2003, Tokarchik twice was selected Region Private/Parochial Coach of the Year by the NSCAA, and was the organization’s National Coach of the Year in 2005.

 

Boy's Swimming – Mel Roberts
Tooele High School 
Tooele, Utah

Roberts just completed his 41st season as coach of Tooele’s boys and girls swimming teams. A high school All-America and championship swimmer at the University of Utah, Roberts has led Tooele to 31 region championships and 11 state titles. Nine of those have been won by the boys team, most recently the 4A title in 2002. This year’s team finished sixth. His girls teams won state crowns in 1999 and 2001. Through the 2008-09 season, his boys teams had a record of 452-87 and his girls teams had a record of 328-74. Roberts is a member of the Tooele High School Wall of Fame as an athlete and coach, and has been named Coach of the Year 12 times by the Utah Swimming Coaches Association, which he also served 10 years as president, and currently as secretary-treasurer. The National Federation of State High School Associations named him Boys Swimming Coach of the Year in 2005. The National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) presented Roberts with its Outstanding Service Award in 1991 and inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2009.

 

Girl's Swimming – Maurice “Marty” Keating
Pittsford Central High School
Pittsford, New York

With 339 victories, Keating is the state’s all-time leading winner among girls swimming coaches. He began his coaching career at Aquinas Institute in Rochester, leading the boys team to a 46-2 record in four seasons before moving to Pittsford. Keating started the girls team in 1974 and remains its coach. His girls teams have won 15 sectional titles, including six straight from 2002-07, and five state crowns. He also coached the boys team for 18 seasons, from 1974-91, returning to boys coaching in 2007 at Livonia High School. His Pittsford boys teams won two Class A sectional titles and the Class B state title in 1979. Keating, who has served as president of the New York State Swim Coaches Association since 1972, received the New York State Coaches Association’s Honor Award in 1995, Niagara District Coach of the Year honors in 1987 and 1999, the Galyan’s High School Coach of the Year award from the Rochester Press-Radio Club in 2002, the WHAM Jack Palvino Award for contributions to women’s sports in 2004 and the All-Greater Rochester Girls Swimming Coach of the Year in 2007. Keating was inducted into the Frontier Fields Walk of Fame in 2003, was a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s National Coach of the Year award in 2005 and received the NISCA Outstanding Service Award in 2009.

 

Boy's Tennis – James Solomon
William Hall High School
West Hartford, Connecticut

The second Boys Tennis Coach of the Year from the Nutmeg State in as many years, Solomon has guided the Warriors to a record of 445-61 and four state team titles as he completes his 36th season. In 1979, Solomon led Hall to the title in the state’s largest division, Class LL, and followed that with the all-class State Open championship. The Warriors have since gone on to win Class L state titles in 1992, 1993 and 2007, and also own 13 state runner-up finishes, including the past two seasons. Under Solomon, the Warriors have won 18 Central Connecticut Conference Western Division titles, including the last five in a row. Solomon coached the individual state singles champions in 2006 and 2007, and his players also swept the New England Championships singles and doubles titles in 2006 and added the singles title in 2007. The state’s Coach of the Year in 1985, Solomon was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003. A two-time National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) Regional Coach of the Year, Solomon was named National Coach of the Year by the NHSACA in 2000.

 

Girl's Tennis – Dave Steinbach
Brookfield Central High School
Brookfield, Wisconsin

Steinbach has coached Brookfield Central’s boys and girls tennis teams for 28 seasons, and his teams have combined for 13 Division 1 state team titles and 13 runner-up finishes. Nine of those titles belong to the girls team, which took state gold five straight years from 1983-87 and also won three titles this decade, in 2002, 2003 and 2006. He has coached two boys doubles teams and two girls doubles teams to state titles. The chairman of the United States Tennis Association’s No-Cut Program, his girls tennis teams boast 120 players and his boys teams 95 players. Now retired from teaching at Brookfield Central, Steinbach is on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A past president of the Wisconsin High School Coaches Association (WHSCA), Steinbach has earned many national coaching honors, including Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 2003; High School Tennis Coach of the Year by Racquet Sports Industry magazine in 2006; and Coach of the Year by the United States Professional Tennis Association in 1998 and 2007. The WHSCA named Steinbach Division 1 Boys Coach of the Year in 2000 and Girls Coach of the Year in 2002, 2003 and 2007.

 

Boy's Track and Field – Pete Boudreaux 
Catholic High School
Baton Rouge, Louisiana   

Also the school’s athletic director, Boudreaux has become an institution in Louisiana boys track and field and cross country since taking the reins at Catholic in 1967. His teams have won a state-best 33 state titles – 11 in outdoor track, seven in indoor track and 15 in cross country. This year, Boudreaux’s cross country and outdoor track and field teams both set state scoring records, and his teams have swept all three state meets the past two years. The track and field team’s record performance this spring included seven event victories, a state record and a pair of 1-2 finishes. His track and field teams were undefeated in regular-season competition for 11 straight years, and his athletes have set 12 state records and own three Catholic high school national records. The Louisiana Track and Field Coaches Association named Boudreaux Coach of the Year in 2002, 2008 and 2009, and presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. His cross country teams have won titles in each of the past four decades and is one of just two Louisiana teams to record a perfect state tournament score.


Girl's Track and Field – Jim Tate
St. Paul’s Episcopal School
Mobile, Alabama

A Mobile native, Tate came to St. Paul’s in 1978. He has been the boys and girls cross country coach and the boys and girls track and field coach ever since, and he has built a resume that would warrant his selection as National Coach of the Year in any of the four sports. Tate’s teams have won an incredible 56 state team titles – 17 each in girls cross country and track and field, 13 in boys track and field and nine in boys cross country. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was his girls cross country teams that were setting the standard, setting a national high school record with 16 straight state titles from 1983 through 1998. All four programs have built title streaks lasting at least three seasons. Tate’s cross country teams have won both the boys and girls state meets five times, and this year, his track and field teams won both state meets for the 10th time. In the 1984-85, 1991-92 and 1994-95 school years, his teams went a perfect 4-for-4, sweeping both the cross country and track and field state meets in those seasons. Tate was named Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 1999, and he was inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

2008

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Football - James Drewry
Booneville High School
Booneville, MississippiВ 

Drewry has won three state championships in two tours of duty at Booneville during a coaching career that has spanned 43 seasons. Booneville gave Drewry his first head coaching position in 1965, and he coached the Blue Devils for 14 seasons before moving on to Kossuth High. He also coached at Brandon High and Tishomingo High before returning to Booneville in 1990, winning the first of three state championships that season. His teams added back-to-back state crowns in 1999 and 2000, and have made seven trips to the state title game. With a career record of 327-151-5, including a 7-5 mark and a second-round state playoff appearance this year, Drewry is Mississippi's all-time leading winner. Elected to the Mississippi Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992, Drewry will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame this summer. He was selected Mississippi's "Coach of the Three-Quarter Century" honoree by Coach and Athletic Director magazine in 2007. Drewry, who turns 77 this month, plans to return to the Blue Devils sideline next fall for a 44th season.

 

 

Baseball - Jerry Boatner
West Lauderdale High School
Collinsville, Mississippi

Now in his 35th season at West Lauderdale, Boatner's 2006-07 team may have been his best. The Knights finished a school-record 38-2 to earn Boatner his 11th Class 5A state title - more than any other Mississippi baseball coach - and state Coach of the Year honors. West Lauderdale batted .398 as a team, slugged 60 home runs, featured a pitching staff with an earned-run average of 1.45 and had nine players sign college scholarships, four at Division 1 schools. They were ranked No. 2 in the USA Today Super 25, earning Boatner the newspaper's National Coach of the Year award as well. In 39 years as a head coach, Boatner's teams have posted a record of 923-286. West Lauderdale also has four state runnerup finishes and 25 district titles under his direction.

 

 

Softball - Wally Hausdorf
William Cullen Bryant High School
Astoria, New York

In Hausdorf's first game at Bryant, his team lost 23-0. Today, 28 seasons later, that loss is a distant memory. When his Lady Owls shut out Bronx Leadership High earlier this season, Hausdorf became the first softball coach in New York State history to post 600 career victories. At press time, his career record was 612-188, a .765 winning percentage, including a 9-3 mark in section play this year. His teams have qualified for the playoffs 25 times, won 12 division titles and made four Final Four appearances. A physical education teacher and the school's Coordinator of Student Affairs, Hausdorf also coaches Bryant's junior varsity girls volleyball and girls basketball teams. The Queens native played baseball and basketball at Middle Village Christ the King High and York College and served as head baseball coach at Baruch College and Queensborough Community College and assistant men's basketball coach at two SUNY schools, Stony Brook and Old Westbury, prior to taking the reins at Bryant.

 

 

Volleyball - Peg Kopec
St. Francis High School
Wheaton, Illinois

Kopec, who just completed her 33rd season, is Illinois' all-time leading winner with a career record of 961-219-2. She has led the Spartans to eight state titles, including four in a five-year span this decade (2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006), and her 2007 team posted a 38-4 record and was the Class 3A state runnerup. Kopec's teams have finished second in state twice, third three times and fourth once, for a total of 14 state trophies. Her teams have won 25 regional titles, and none of her last 22 teams have posted fewer than 32 victories, including three 40-win seasons. Over 200 of her players have earned college scholarships.  A member of the Illinois Girls Coaches Association and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Halls of Fame, Kopec was named National Co-Coach of the Year by PrepVolleyball.com in 2006.

 

 

Field Hockey - Robin Chandler
The Hotchkiss School
Lakeville, Connecticut

A 1987 Hotchkiss graduate who became the first girl to earn 12 varsity letters in three sports - field hockey, ice hockey and softball - at the school, Chandler, who still owns several of Hotchkiss's softball records, has built its field hockey program into a Northeast powerhouse. Last fall, the Lady Bearcats finished 19-0 and won an unprecedented sixth consecutive New England Class A title while sweeping all three postseason tournaments, the Class A meet, the Western New England Championship and the Founders League Championship, for the second straight year and the fourth time in her career. In 11 seasons, her teams own a record of 159-9-11 and have won seven Class A crowns, five Western New England crowns and nine Founders League crowns. Chandler is the school's co-athletic director and also serves as assistant ice hockey coach. The National Field Hockey Coaches Association voted Chandler its Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year the past three seasons.

 

 

Wrestling - Bill Jacoutot
Spencerport High School
Spencerport, New York

In his 26th season at Spencerport, Jacoutot's Rangers dominated New York State wrestling as few teams have in recent years. Spencerport finished the season 18-0, advanced five wrestlers to the Division 1 state tournament, and crowned two state champions. Spencerport also finished the season ranked 10th by W.I.N. magazine, the highest national ranking in the school's history. Jacoutot's career record is 335-28-1, and his teams own a 40-match winning streak dating back to January 2006. He has led Spencerport to nine unbeaten seasons, and none of his last 22 teams lost more than two dual meets in a season. Six of his teams - five in this decade - finished the season No. 1 in the New York State Sportswriters Association rankings. He has coached 31 state placewinners and 11 state champions.

 

 

Boy's Basketball - Dick Katte
Denver Christian High School
Denver, Colorado

With a 77-60 victory over Lafayette Peak to Peak Academy Feb. 20, Katte, 71, Colorado's all-time leading winner, earned his 800th career victory, the 10th active coach in the nation to do so, in his 44th season. His career record is 803-205, and his teams have won seven state titles, most recently back-to-back Class 3A crowns in 2005 and 2006, and a record 22 Denver Metro League crowns - even though he hasn't had a Division 1 player on his roster in 26 years. A seven-time Coach of the Year selection by the Colorado High School Coaches Association, Katte was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1999, the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame in 2000 and the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame in 2005. Currently Denver Christian's assistant principal, Katte was the school's athletic director for 35 years and also served brief stints as head coach of its football, baseball and track and field teams.

 

 

Girl's Basketball - Dorothy Gaters
John Marshall High School
Chicago, Illinois

In 1974, 10 years after graduating from Marshall, Gaters was given a task nobody else wanted: starting a girls basketball program at the inner-city school. After 33 seasons, eight state championships and nearly two dozen state records, Gaters is a legend in her sport. As the school's athletic director, she had to replace her school's boys basketball coach just before the start of this season. Her new hire won a state championship, and so did she, leading the Lady Commandos to a 26-7 record and the state's first Class 3A state title, her first since 1999. Gaters, whose career record of 881-121 places her seventh on the national victory list, holds every Illinois state tournament record. Besides her eight state titles, those records include: state title games (11), state tournament appearances (23), consecutive appearances (12), state trophies (17) and state tournament victories (record 57-16).

 

 

Boy's Cross Country - Van Rose
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School
Shawnee, Kansas

Rose has been Northwest's only cross country coach since the school opened its doors in 1969. His boys teams have won 14 consecutive Class 6A state titles, the nation's second-longest active streak and second longest all-time, and 19 state titles overall, ninth all-time. He guided the Cougars to their first state title in 1977, and his boys teams have finished in the state's top four 28 times. His girls teams have been almost as successful, winning 12 state titles and recording 24 top-four finishes in the girls state meet's 31-year history. Northwest has swept the boys and girls state titles in nine seasons, most recently in 2005. He has coached seven runners to a total of 11 individual state championships. The Kansas Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association has named Rose its Cross Country Coach of the Year four times, for the boys team in 1990, 2000 and 2006 and the girls team in 1991.

 

 

Girl's Cross Country - Jerry Popp
Willmar High School
Willmar, Minnesota

Popp joined Disa Daucsavage as co-coach at Willmar in 2004, coaching the Cardinals boys teams to Class AA state titles in 2005 and 2006, the school's first state crowns in 20 years. It was a new chapter for Popp, who built a legend when he started the cross country program at Bowman (N.D.) High in 1975. Popp's teams swept the Class B boys and girls state crowns six straight years (1979-84), one of four national and eight state records his teams own. Bowman ran to 13 double titles and 39 titles overall, and his girls teams' 25 titles are a national record. His girls track and field teams added six state crowns. The North Dakota High School Coaches Association (NDHSCA) named him Coach of the Year 21 times in girls cross country, four times in boys cross country and three times in girls track and field. Popp also started Bowman's speech program and coached it to 20 state titles. Popp was named National Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) in 1993 and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in 2002. He was inducted into the NDHSCA Hall of Fame in 1999, the NHSACA Hall of Fame in 2001 and the NFHS Hall of Fame in 2002.

 

 

Boy's Golf - Richard Gaard
Decorah High School
Decorah, Iowa

Gaard has coached golf and basketball at Decorah for 36 seasons. His golf teams have won nine Northeast Iowa Conference championships, 13 district titles and nine regional crowns, and his career record is 333-123-11. A co-founder and the Northeast Iowa representative to the Iowa High School Golf Coaches Association, he was selected as its Coach of the Year in 2007, and he has been named conference Coach of the Year 10 times. The National Federation of State High School Associations named him Coach of the Year this year. Gaard also was the school's head boys basketball coach from 1995-2000 and coached both its boys and girls teams. He coached the Class 3A Iowa Dr. Pepper All-Star Team in 1998, served five years on the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association Board of Directors and was a volunteer assistant coach for the Luther College women's basketball team in 2004-05. A retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, he was attached to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, Washington D.C. In 2004, Col. Gaard was one of seven American officers to take part in the multi-national peacemaking exercise at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany.

 

 

Girl's Golf - Carol Fromuth
St. Joseph's Academy
St. Louis, Missouri

Fromuth has had a varied coaching career. At St. Joseph's Academy, her teams had posted a record of 104-5 through last season, and have compiled three Class 2 state titles and three runnerup finishes, to go along with a third-place finish in 2006 and a fifth-place finish this season. She was named the state's Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2000 and the St. Louis Metro Boys Coach of the Year in 1985, when she was coaching at Ballwin Lafayette High. At Lafayette, Fromuth also coached Junior and Senior Powder Puff football for four years and girls basketball for 22 years, 14 on the varsity. She has taught the rules of golf to high school golf coaches in Missouri for 12 years, and is entering her ninth year as director of the Gateway PGA Junior Golf Association. Fromuth received the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association Meritorious Service Award in 1995 and the Gateway PGA Distinguished Service Award in 2003, and was named Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 2006.

 

 

Boy's Soccer - John Kissner
Walsh Jesuit High School
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Kissner is the only boys soccer coach in Walsh Jesuit history. He started the program in 1978 and just completed his 30th season. Kissner coached the Warriors to Division 1 state titles in 1982 and 1990 and the Division 2 state crown in 2006, when his team finished 21-2. Kissner was voted Division 2 Coach of the Year by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association, also earning Coach of the Year honors from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. This year's team finished 10-5-4 and advanced to the district final. With a career record of 415-107-76, Kissner is the state's all-time leading winner. His eight state final appearances are the most of any Ohio coach, and he is one of only three coaches to have won three state championships. A native of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, Kissner emigrated to Akron with his family at the age of 10.

 

 

Girl's Soccer - Steve Racine
Kinnelon High School
Kinnelon, New Jersey

Racine has been a girls soccer coach for 27 years. His career started with a successful 22-year run at Denville Morris Catholic High. From 1981 through 2002, Racine's teams compiled a 410-58-20 record, 17 conference championships, 14 state sectional titles, 11 state titles and six Morris County Tournament crowns. Also the school's winter and spring track and field coach, Racine's spring teams posted a 120-29 record, earning 11 conference titles and four Parochial B state titles. In 2003, Racine took on the task of building a program at Kinnelon. After his team won just one of its first eight games and posted a 22-25-5 record through three seasons, the Colts finished a school-record 19-4-1 in 2006 and won their first state title, giving Racine the most state titles (15) of any active coach in the nation. Last year, despite moving up to Group 2, Kinnelon finished 16-4-2 and advanced to the North 1 region quarterfinals, improving his career mark to 467-91-28. He also is an assistant track coach for the Colts.

 

 

Boy's Swimming - Marty O'Toole
St. Xavier High School
Louisville, Kentucky

A 1957 St. Xavier graduate, O'Toole was a four-time All-American and the first swimmer to win four state championships in the same event - the 100-yard breaststroke - in Kentucky high school history. After attending Catholic University and the University of Notre Dame, O'Toole, who has taught chemistry and physics at St. Xavier, coached the Tigers for two years in the early 1970s, then returned as head coach in 1989, directing St. Xavier to state titles the past 20 seasons. He has coached 23 swimmers to 49 individual state championships, along with 37 relay state titles. His swimmers set 16 state records and two national records, with 59 earning All-America status. Next season, he will switch roles with his son, Michael, becoming his assistant coach. Michael O'Toole served as his father's assistant for more than a decade.

 

 

Girls Swimming - Pete Higgins
The Westminster Schools
Atlanta, Georgia

Higgins has become an institution in his 48 years as coach of the boys and girls swimming teams at Westminster. His teams have won nearly 600 dual meets, and both his boys and girls teams have won 19 Class 1-4A state team titles, a total of 38 state crowns. Higgins' teams have swept the boys and girls titles eight times, including four straight from 2003-06. His girls teams won six straight crowns from 2001-06 and were state runners-up the past two seasons, while his boys teams own a current six-year title streak. More than 100 of his swimmers have become high school or independent school All-Americans, three of his swimmers have gone on to become members of the U.S. Olympic Team and his swimmers hold four all-class state records, three of them owned by the girls team. Named Coach of the Year four times in the past decade by the Georgia High School Swimming Coaches Association, Higgins was named Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High School State Associations in 1989 and was inducted into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Circle of Achievement in 1997.

 

 

Boy's Tennis - Preston Jackson, Jr.
Boys Latin School
Baltimore, Maryland

Jackson just completed his first year as head coach at Boys Latin. Prior to that, he coached the boys and girls teams at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute for 12 seasons, where he taught aero science and physics of flight. He led his teams to nine District 9 team championships, including seven in a row. They were undefeated for four consecutive seasons, winning 78 of 80 matches at one stretch. A member of the U.S. High School Tennis Coaches Association Board of Directors, Jackson was named the Mid-Atlantic High School Coach of the Year by the United States Professional Tennis Association in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006, and its National High School Coach of the Year in 2001. A tennis professional for 28 years and a former Air Force coach and player, Jackson serves as Tennis Director at the Potomac Woods Swim Club in Rockville, Md.

 

 

Girl's Tennis - Ed Yarbrough
Jasper High School
Jasper, Indiana

Overall, Yarbrough has coached 37 years at Jasper. Last fall, he finished his 34th season at the helm of the boys tennis team; this spring marks his 21st leading the girls squad. He is the state's all-time winningest coach with 813 dual-meet victories - 501 with the boys team and 312 with the girls. The Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association (IHSTeCA) named him District 5 Girls Coach of the Year in 2002, 2003 and 2007 and bestowed him with state Coach of the Year honors in 2007 after his team finished 19-1 and third in the state team tournament. This year's team is ranked No. 4 in the state. Both of his state championships came in 1999 - a girls doubles title in the spring and a boys team crown in the fall. His teams also boast five state runnerup finishes - the boys in 1985 and 1987 and the girls in 1992, 2002 and 2003. Inducted into the IHSTeCA Hall of Fame in 1994, Yarbrough started his Jasper coaching career as an assistant football coach in 1971 and 1972.

 

 

Boy's Track and Field - Warren Mitchell
Limon High School
Limon, Colorado

If coaching is the "Fountain of Youth," then Mitchell has found it. At 85, he is completing his 55th season as the school's track and field coach. His boys track team has won 12 Class 2A state titles, most recently back-to-back crowns in 2004 and 2005, and the Denver Rocky Mountain News named him All-Colorado Boys Coach of the Year in 2005. Mitchell also coached football for 37 seasons at Limon, 10 as the head coach, and posted a 399-162 record and won four state championships in 24 seasons as head basketball coach. Mitchell has won over 700 games and 27 team championships in his coaching career. He was inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1986, the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame in 2001, and will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame this summer. He was selected Colorado's "Coach of the Three-Quarter Century" honoree by Coach and Athletic Director magazine in 2007.

 

 

Girl's Track and Field - Bryan Westfield
Pioneer High School
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Westfield started Pioneer's girls track program in 1979 and has built it into a powerhouse. Under his direction, the Pioneers are trying for their third consecutive Division 1 state title, which would be their 16th overall. His Pioneers have finished first or second in state every year since 1994, have finished in the top three every year since 1984 and have lost just two regular-season meets. He has been selected Coach of the Year 17 times by the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association (MITCA), 15 times in track and twice in cross country - his teams own four state titles in that sport - and he was inducted into the MITCA Hall of Fame in 2006. Westfield was named the National Federation of State High School Associations Coach of the Year in 2002. A Pioneer graduate, he played briefly for the NFL's New York Giants after graduating from Cornell University. The biology teacher also leads the school's gospel choir.

2009

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Football - John McKissick
Summerville High School
Summerville, South Carolina

  
McKissick, who will turn 83 in September, is the dean of high school football coaches. He has coached 57 seasons at Summerville, and his list of awards is almost as long as his list of victories. He is the nation's all-time leading winner, with a career record of 565-133-13. He became No. 1 on the all-time victory list in 1993 and won his 500th game in 2004. His teams have won 10 state championships, and won state crowns in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and came within an eyelash of making it six championship decades by reaching the Class 4A Division 1 state title game in 2007. Last year's team finished 9-2 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Named National High School Coach of the Year three times, McKissick was the recipient of the Power of Influence award from the American Football Coaches Association in 2003. Inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Hall of Fame in 1990, he was South Carolina's "Coach of the Three-Quarter Century" honoree by Coach and Athletic Director magazine in 2007.



Baseball- Guy Anderson
Cordova High School 
Rancho Cordova, California

Now in his 40th season at Cordova, Anderson, 76, has seen his teams post an overall record of 834-422-21, with this year's team owning a 12-7 record at press time. His 834 victories rank him No. 2 on the state's career victory list. Competing in a sport whose state championship series extended only to the section level, Anderson's teams won 17 league championships and five championships in the state's competitive Sac-Joaquin Section, and 12 of his players have gone on to major league careers. He has been inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association and California Baseball Coaches Association Halls of Fame, and will be inducted into the NFHS Hall of Fame this year. Anderson, who retired as assistant principal and athletic director in 2000, served on Cordova's parks and recreation board for over two decades.

 

Softball - Larry Niemeyer
Jefferson High School
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

In 49 years at two Iowa high schools - Adel High and Jefferson - Niemeyer, who turns 72 in September, has won over 2,500 games as a softball and girls basketball coach. His career softball record - 1,651-338 - makes him the nation's all-time leading winner, by more than 600 wins over his nearest competition. That total does not include 332 wins in fall softball in his early days at Adel, when he led the school to a fall state title in an open-class system. After winning 17 straight conference titles at Adel, Niemeyer took over a Jefferson team that had won just 25 games in its previous five seasons. Five years later, Jefferson won the first of three state softball championships under his direction. His basketball team won the 1993 state championship with a 29-0 record and advanced to four state title games. His teams have a 843-294 record, No. 2 on Iowa's all-time victory list. His state titles in cross country and indoor track make him Iowa's only coach to win titles in four different sports. The National High School Coaches Association (NHSACA) named him its national Coach of the Year in softball in 1989 and girls basketball in 1996, and he was inducted into the NHSCA Hall of Fame in 2002. He also has been inducted into the Iowa Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame in both sports.

 

Volleyball - Jan Stanley
West Henderson High School
Hendersonville, N.C.

Stanley started the school's volleyball program in 1975. This year, she led a Falcons team with just one senior on the roster to a 26-0 record, losing just three sets all season, and her fifth Class 2A state championship. During the season, she became the state's all-time winningest coach, and her career record is 671-114 She has led the Falcons to eight title-match appearances, and previously won state titles in 1989, 1990, 2003 and 2004. Stanley, who was named co-National Coach of the Year this year by PrepVolleyball.com, actually owns state titles in two sports, having coached the Falcons to more than 250 victories overall and the 1991 girls basketball state championship, and also has coached track and field, tennis and softball at the school. Stanley was inducted into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

 

Field Hockey - Karen Klassner
Wyoming Seminary Upper School
Kingston, Pennsylvania

Klassner became Wyoming Seminary's head coach in 1972. Her team posted a 23-1 record and won its third Class 2A state championship last fall. She also has guided the Knights to five district titles, eight league titles and 22 district playoff appearances since the school joined the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association in 1985. Her career record 503-129-42, and she is a seven-time Coach of the Year. The school's field hockey field is named Klassner Field in her honor. Klassner chaired for the National Field Hockey Coaches Association High School All-America selection committee from 1998-2002, and is president of the state coaches association and chair of its All-State selection committee. Named the Developmental Coach of the Year by the U.S. Field Hockey Association in 2006, Klassner also has coached swimming, basketball and softball at Wyoming Seminary.

 

Wrestling - Jeff Sweigard
Central Dauphin High School
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Sweigard coached 11 years in the Susquehanna Township school district, earning District 3 Coach of the Year honors in 1989. He has been Central Dauphin's head coach the past 15 seasons. His teams have won 10 Mid-Penn Conference titles, seven District 3 titles and eight sectional titles. Central Dauphin won state titles in AAA, perhaps the nation's toughest wrestling class, the past three seasons. The Rams took the individual team championship in 2007, then doubled up by winning both dual and individual state team titles in 2008 and 2009. Sweigard has coached 58 sectional champions, 22 district champions, 55 state qualifiers, 39 state placewinners and six state champions. A five-time District 3 Coach of the Year, including each of the past three seasons, Sweigard also was selected as the Pennsylvania Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2009 and also was named National High School Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association this season.



Boy's Basketball - Jack Curran
Archbishop Molloy High School
Briarwood, New York

Curran, 78, just finished his 51st year at Archbishop Molloy, where he established Hall of Fame coaching credentials in two sports, boys basketball and baseball. After succeeding Lou Carnesecca, who went on to cement his own Hall of Fame career as head coach at St. John's University, as head coach in 1958, Curran became New York's all-time leading winner with more than 900 victories. His teams captured five Catholic League city titles. Eight of his players became collegiate All-Americans, five played professionally and over 500 received college scholarships. His baseball teams have won over 1,600 games and 17 city titles. In 1966, Curran coached Molloy baseball to 68 consecutive victories, a national record that stood for 39 years. Curran is the only coach to be named National Coach of the Year in two different sports: baseball (1988) and boys basketball (1990). The Catholic High School Athletic Association Coach of the Year 22 times in basketball and 25 times in baseball, Curran has been inducted into nine Halls of Fame. In 2007, Curran was the inaugural recipient of the Morgan Wootten Award for basketball coaching excellence.



Girl's Basketball - Brian Harrigan
Sacred Heart Cathedral High School
San Francisco, California

Harrigan has been coaching for 28 years, the last 19 at Sacred Heart Cathedral. He guided the Irish to three consecutive California state championships, one in Division 4 and two in Division 3, from 2006-08. His 2008 team finished with a 33-0 record and the No. 1 spot in the final USA Today Super 25 girls basketball rankings. During that run, the Irish compiled a 61-game winning streak that lasted parts of three seasons. Last year's performance earned Harrigan a pair of national awards. He was named Coach of the Year by USA Today, and the Atlanta Tipoff Club named him the recipient of the inaugural Naismith Award as high school Coach of the Year. Harrigan shared that award with Bob Hurley of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony High, the NHSCA National Boys Basketball Coach of the Year in 2007. This year's Sacred Heart team lost on a buzzer-beater in the North Region finals, but still finished 28-2 and No. 24 in the USA Today Super 25. He owns a career record of 607-174.


Boy's Cross Country - Mike Holman
Lawrence Central High School
Indianapolis, Indiana

Holman has coached boys and girls cross country for 28 seasons and boys track and field for 30 seasons, and is completing his 20th season at Lawrence Central. He is the only coach in Indiana history to have coached an individual state cross country champion at two different schools - Matt Grady at Muncie Northside High in 1982 and Nick Middleton at Lawrence Central in 1991. Two of his teams have been state runners-up - Muncie Northside in 1979 and Lawrence Central in 2006. His girls team finished third in state and his boys team sixth this year. His boys track and field teams won state titles in 1998 and 2005, and the 1998 title was the school's first in any sport in its 70-year history. His 2007 team finished third in state and last year's team seventh. The Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (IATCCC) has named him its Coach of the Year three times, and he was inducted into the IATCCC Hall of Fame in 2006.


Girl's Cross Country - Catherine Lempesis
Dutch Fork High School
Irmo, South Carolina

Lempesis ended an eight-year retirement from coaching when she came to Dutch Fork in 2005, with her 2008 team winning a regional championship in cross country. From 1978 to 1997, Lempesis became a cross country and track and field coaching legend at three Columbia high schools - Richland Northeast High, Spring Valley High and Ridge View High. Her Richland Northeast cross country teams were state runners-up three straight years. Her teams at Spring Valley won a record nine consecutive state track and field championships (1986-94) and six straight cross country titles over that span. Her Ridge View teams won the 1997 state cross country and the 1997 and 1998 state track and field titles. In the early 1990s, Lempesis coached Monique Hennagan, a gold medalist at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. She was been inducted into the Road Runners Hall of Fame and the South Carolina Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame in 1993, and will be inducted into the NFHS Hall of Fame this year.

 

Boy's Golf - Jim Bennett
Grosse Ile High School
Grosse Ile, Michigan

Bennett retired following the 2004 season after 30 seasons as the boys golf coach at Grosse Ile. That year, his team finished sixth in the Division 3 state tournament and he coached the individual state champion. That followed on the heels of an incredible six-year run that saw the Red Devils win five state titles in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003 - and a second-place finish in 2001. In 2007, Bennett returned to coaching as head coach of Grosse Ile's girls team, for which he had served as an assistant coach for seven seasons, and led the Red Devils to a 12th-place finish in the state tournament that year. A past president of the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association (MIGCA), Bennett was the organization's Division 3 Coach of the Year in 1998 and its Region 3 Coach of the Year in 2003, and was inducted into the MICGA Hall of Fame in 2005. He is a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year this year.


Girl's Golf - Ken Van Den Boom
Caledonia High School
Caledonia, Minnesota

When Van Den Boom began teaching at Caledonia in 1968, there was no interscholastic competition for girls. When he became a junior high boys golf coach four years later, he encouraged some girls to try the sport as well. Five years later, Minnesota held its first girls golf state tournament - and the Caledonia/Spring Grove High co-op team has been an integral part of the sport ever since. Through the 2005 season, his career record stood at 941-66. That season, Van Den Boom coached Caledonia/Spring Grove to its sixth state title, the second most in the history of Minnesota girls golf. He also has coached five runner-up teams and five third place teams, and his teams have competed in the state tournament 22 times. Caledonia also has won 29 conference titles. This year's team owns an 8-0 record, with the wins coming by an average of 37 strokes. Van Den Boom has been named Section 1A Coach of the Year 16 times, and the Minnesota Golf Coaches Association (MGCA) named him the state's Coach of the Year in 1995. He was inducted into the MGCA Hall of Fame in 2005.


Boy's Soccer - Craig Ewing
St. Thomas Aquinas High School
Overland Park, Kansas

Ewing wasn't introduced to the sport until serving in Guatemala with the Peace Corps at the age of 23, but he has become an institution as coach of St. Thomas Aquinas' boys and girls soccer teams since the school opened its doors in 1988. A third-place finish by his boys team in 1991 started a run that would see his teams win 12 state titles, including the last six in succession. His teams have won titles in Class 5A the past two years after four straight titles in big-school Class 6A. He was named NFHS Boys Soccer Coach of the Year in 2000. Ewing also has been honored for his girls soccer teams, having been recognized as National High School Private/Parochial Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 2005. His girls teams have won nine state titles, including four in a row from 1993-96 and three straight from 2005-07. This year's team finished third in state. His girls teams have an all-time record of 574-166-33, and his boys teams also have over 500 wins.


Girl's Soccer - Julie Bergstrom
Waubonsie Valley High School
Aurora, Illinois

Prior to 2007, only three teams in the history of Illinois high school girls soccer had completed a season undefeated. Under Bergstrom's direction, Waubonsie Valley accomplished the feat in back-to-back seasons. The Warriors finished the 2007 spring season with a 30-0-1 record and won their first state championship, earning the No. 1 ranking in the final 2007 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas spring national poll. The 30 victories matched the state single-season record, and Bergstrom was voted the NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year in Girls Division 1. Last spring, the Warriors finished 26-0-1 while repeating as state and spring national champions. This spring, despite the graduation of eight starters from a year ago, the loss of its best player to a knee injury and the end of a 59-match streak without a loss, Waubonsie Valley was 13-3 at press time and ranked No. 1 among Chicago-area teams by the Chicago Sun-Times. Now in her ninth season, Bergstrom's career record heading into the postseason stands at 163-42-14. A standout goalkeeper at Northern Illinois University, she still owns a share of the school record for shutouts, posting eight in 1997.


Boy's Swimming - Mike Torrey
Zeeland West High School 
Zeeland, Michigan

Torrey just completed his 30th season as coach of Zeeland's boys and girls swimming teams (the teams remained combined after a second high school was added six years ago). This year, his boys team posted a perfect 9-0 record and won the Division 2 state championship, the first for the boys team since they took back-to-back Class B-C-D titles in 1990 and 1991. His boys and girls teams swept the state meet in both seasons. Competing in large-school Division 1, his boys teams were state runners-up in 2005 and 2007. Torrey's girls teams dominated the Class B-C-D meet from 1987-94, winning six state titles during that span, and also have posted six state runner-up finishes. In 1992, Torrey was the recipient of the Matt Mann Award, the highest award given by the Michigan Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (MISCA) for continued leadership, contributions, and service to Michigan high school swimming. He was voted the Girls Coach of the Year by MISCA in 2003 and the Zone 5 Boys Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2008.


Girl's Swimming - Kent Kirchner
The Woodlands High School
The Woodlands, Texas

Kirchner has been a Coach of the Year award winner both at the high school and college levels. His boys and girls teams at The Woodlands have combined to win four Class 5A state team titles. This year, his girls team swept the district, regional and state championships, set a state record in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and set school records in eight of 12 events during the season. The Texas Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (TISCA) voted him back-to-back Girls Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2009, and he is a three-time TISCA Coach of the Year. Kirchner also was the Summit League Coach of the Year at Southwest Missouri State University in 1982-83. His boys and girls teams finished No. 1 in the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) dual meet national rankings, and 112 of his swimmers have become NISCA All-Americans. He holds the American Swimming Coaches Associations Level V Coaches Rating, which less than 5 per cent of U.S. swimming coaches attain. A member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, Kirchner, a 1975 Cleveland State University graduate, was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1997.

 

Boy's Tennis - Connie Jones
Greenwich High School
Greenwich, Connecticut

In 1997, Jones' first year at Greenwich, the Cardinals were undefeated and won the state and Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) championships. Thus began a dynasty. Jones has taken a program that included approximately 35 players in her first season to 76 this season on four levels. Greenwich now has won nine FCIAC titles, including seven in a row, and six Class LL state crowns, including the last five straight. The Cardinals (16-1, 13-0 this season) are 142-9 since 2002 and 235-34 overall under Jones. She was named Boys Tennis Coach of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association last season. A letterwinner in field hockey, basketball, tennis and lacrosse as a high school athlete, Jones has won nine United States Tennis Association doubles titles and has captured 11 American Platform Tennis Association national titles. She is a tennis pro at Sound Shore Indoor Tennis in Port Chester, N.Y. and a platform tennis pro at Roxbury Swim and Tennis Club in Stamford.


Girl's Tennis - Jeff Holman
Haddonfield Memorial High School
Haddonfield, New Jersey

In 33 seasons as Haddonfield's girls tennis coach and 31 at the helm of the boys team, Holman has coached more than 2,000 matches and has won a national-record 1,730 of them. That includes a record of 871-120 as girls coach. His program regularly attracts about 120 boys and girls players each year. Holman's traveling team, made up of varsity and JV players, includes 27 girls, along with another 30 or so involved in the program's intramural league, which meets up to three times per week and often sends girls to varsity and junior varsity matches. Last fall, Haddonfield finished 30-3 and won Colonial Conference, Group 2 South Jersey and Group 2 state championships, advancing to the Tournament of Champions semifinals. His team won the inaugural Tournament of Champions crown in 1980. Holman, whose teams have won 30 conference titles, 27 sectional crowns and 14 state group championships, was named the state's Girls Tennis Coach of the Year this season by the Newark Star-Ledger. He was inducted into the Camden County Sports Hall of Fame this year.


Boy's Track and Field - Dennis McNulty
Warren Central High School 
Indianapolis, Indiana

McNulty has been coaching for 33 years, and he is completing his 23rd season at Warren Central. His teams have been back-to-back state champions twice - in 1995 and 1996 and 2006 and 2007 - and added a state runner-up finish in 2005 and a third-place finish in 2008, and have finished in the state's top 10 10 times. His teams also were regional and sectional champions in 1995, 1996, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Nine of his athletes have won state titles and six have recorded runner-up finishes, and he also has coached five relay teams to state titles. An 11-time Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (IATCCC) Coach of the Year nominee, McNulty earned Coach of the Year honors in all four of his championship seasons. He was inducted into the IATCCC Hall of Fame in 2006. The National Federation named him its District 4 Coach of the Year both years, and its national Coach of the Year in 2008. McNulty also was a finalist for National High School Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year honors in 2008.

 
Girl's Track and Field - Bill Stamper
Oak Ridge High School 
Orlando, Florida

Stamper, 54, has coached the girls track and field team at Oak Ridge since 1979, and the girls cross country team since 1986. He also coached the boys cross country team from 1979-1996. Stamper's girls track and field teams have won nine state championships, including three straight in Class 3A from 2006-08, and are five-time state runners-up. This year's team finished 10th. He has coached 19 All-America athletes, 20 state champion athletes, and 115 region champions. Forty of his athletes have received college scholarships. He served as the Florida Athletic Coaches Association (FACA) district track & field chair for 13 years, and was a member of the FHSAA Track and Field Advisory Committee. He is a member of the FACA and Florida Track and Field Halls of Fame, and is a three-time finalist for NHSACA National Coach of the Year. Stamper will be inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame this year.

2007

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Football - Gary Rankin
Alcoa High School
Alcoa, Tennessee

Rankin established himself as one of the state's elite coaches in 16 seasons at Riverdale High in Murfreesboro. In 1990, he took over a Riverdale program coming off three consecutive losing seasons. After a 4-6 opening season, Rankin developed the Warriors into one of the state's top programs, leading Riverdale to Class 5A state titles in 1994, 1997, 2001 and 2004 and nine state title games, including five straight from 2000-04. His teams won 14 district/region titles and he concluded his tenure at Riverdale with a 70-game winning streak against district/region opponents. Last season, Rankin took over at Class 2A state power Alcoa High and led the Tornadoes to a 13-2 record - the losses coming to the Class 3A and Class 4A state champions - a third consecutive state title and the fifth of his career. EA Sports named Rankin, whose career record is 207-27, its National High School Coach of the Year in 2004.

 

 

Baseball - Ron Eastman
The Woodlands High School
The Woodlands, Texas

Eastman's 2006 Woodlands team, led by last year's NHSCA Senior Athlete of the Year, Kyle Drabek, won the Class 5A state title, finishing with a 38-1 record and winning its final 31 games of the season. The Woodlands finished the season ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25, earning Eastman the newspaper's National Coach of the Year honors. Eastman has a 190-42 record in seven seasons at The Woodlands, winning four consecutive region and district titles. This spring, The Woodlands finished 31-6, bowing out in the region meet. In 16 years as a head coach, Eastman's record is 313-143. The National High School Baseball Coaches Association named him its National Coach of the Year in 2006.

 

 

Softball - Tony Scarbrough
Baker High School
Mobile, Alabama

In 21 seasons, Scarbrough has taken a Baker program which had never won more than 12 games in a season before he arrived to the top of the softball mountain in Alabama. During his career, which included 12 years in the slow-pitch state series before converting Baker to fast-pitch in 1999, Scarbrough has built a career record of 1,088-314 and won six Class 6A state titles - three consecutive slow-pitch titles from 1991-93 and fast-pitch crowns in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Scarbrough's last five teams own a 361-37 record. His 2005 team, perhaps the best in state history, finished 78-3 and set or tied 20 state records. This year's team broke one of those records by finishing 79-7. Prior to taking the reins at Baker, Scarbrough won over 1,000 games, 17 metro titles, eight state titles and four national titles as a Junior Olympic softball coach. He was inducted into the Mobile Softball Hall of Fame in 1992.

 

 

Volleyball - Steve Shondell
Burris Laboratory School
Muncie, Indiana

Shondell, whose father, Don, won 769 matches in 34 years as coach at Ball State University, has elevated the family tradition at the high school level. Steve Shondell just completed his 31st year at Burris and has won 18 state team titles, a total only two other schools in the nation have exceeded. His coaching record of 1,070-88 - a winning percentage of 92.5 per cent - places him seventh on the all-time victory list nationally. Shondell led Burris to its first state title in 1982, the first of eight state championships in the open era. Since Indiana established class sports in 1997, Burris has won every Class 2A state title, including its 10th in a row this year while posting a 35-5 record. From 1989 through 1992, the Golden Owls lost just one match, and finished three seasons ranked No. 1 nationally.

 

 

Field Hockey - Sue Butz-Stavin
Emmaus High School
Emmaus, Pennsylvania

The year 2005 was memorable in the 31-year coaching career of Butz-Stavin, who stands No. 2 on the sport's all-time victory list. Her Emmaus team finished with a perfect 28-0 record and won its state-best eighth state championship; Butz-Stavin recorded her 600th career victory; three of her players earned high school All-America honors; and she was named a finalist for the United States Olympic Committee's Developmental Coach of the Year award. Her career record stands at 638-69-33. This year's team shut out its first 19 opponents, finished 24-2 and advanced to the state semifinals. A member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame, Butz-Stavin's FireStyx club team won the gold medal at the National Hockey Festival, winning pool championships in the event five of the last six years.

 

 

Wrestling - Jerry Winterton
Cary High School
Cary, North Carolina

Since taking over the reins at Cary in 1982, Winterton's teams have rewritten the state record books. Cary has won 16 Class 4A dual and individual state team titles, and Winterton has coached 40 individual state champions. In 1997, 2005 and 2007, Cary swept the dual and individual state titles, and this year's team finished the season ranked No. 25 nationally by W.I.N. magazine. Winterton has coached his teams to more tournament titles - 146 - than any other coach in American high school wrestling history. His teams have posted 24 unbeaten regular seasons, and his overall record is 517-15 at Cary and 539-33 in his career. Winterton was elected to the Cary High School Hall of Fame in 1995 and the North Carolina wing of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 2004.

 

 

Boy's Basketball - Bob Hurley Sr.
St. Anthony High School
Jersey City, New Jersey

Hurley has become a coaching institution in 35 years at the helm of St. Anthony's program. This season, he became the first coach in New Jersey's storied basketball history to record his 900th career victory. His overall record is 901-102 and his teams once compiled a 66-game winning streak, a state record. His teams at St. Anthony have won nine Meet of Champions overall state titles and 24 Parochial B state crowns, both tops among New Jersey schools. St. Anthony most recently won both titles in 2001, 2002 and 2004, and his 2002 and 2004 teams finished No. 2 in the USA Today Super 25. This year's team finished 28-1, advanced to the Parochial B final and was ranked No. 7 by USA Today. Hurley's sons, Bobby and Danny, starred at Duke University and went on to NBA careers. His program was profiled in a 2004 book, The Miracle of St. Anthony, written by Adrian Wojnarowski.

 

 

Girl's Basketball - Leta Andrews
Granbury High School
Granbury, Texas

This year, in her 44th season, Andrews became the all-time winningest coach in American girls basketball history. Her career record at four high schools is 1,228-254, a winning percentage of almost 83 per cent. She led Corpus Christi Calallen High to the Class 4A state championship in 1990 and her teams have advanced to seven state title games and made 16 appearances in the Sweet Sixteen state tournament. In February, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame named Andrews the inaugural recipient of the Morgan Wootten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball. Andrews, who also serves as girls athletic director and teaches a dance class at Granbury, was named Walt Disney Teacher of the Year in the category of coaching, health and physical education in 1993.

 

 

Boy's Cross Country - Bill Greiten
Gillett High School
Gillett, Wisconsin

Greiten has had over 40 years of success coaching cross country and track at three Wisconsin schools. He coached the boys cross country and track teams for 32 seasons at two Racine schools - St. Catherine's High (1964-69) and Case High (1970-96). His Case teams advanced to the state tournament 18 times, winning titles in 1973, 1975 and 1989 and posting 14 top-five finishes. A co-founder of the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association, he was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1993, and into the Wisconsin Track and Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007. In 1997, Greiten started the cross country program at Gillett, and still coaches the boys and girls high school and middle school programs. Five of his boys teams have qualified for the state meet, finishing fifth in 2003 and 2004. His girls team finished third in 2004, the school's first girls team to qualify for state in any sport.

 

 

Girl's Cross Country - Robert Ondrasek
Carroll High School
Southlake, Texas

Carroll is known as a football powerhouse, but Ondrasek has developed a prominent cross country program as well, building the combined boys and girls roster from 20 runners to more than 100. His girls teams won the Class 4A state team title in 2000 and added Class 5A crowns in 2005 and 2006, and his boys teams have finished second, third and second in state the past three seasons. His girls team finished the season ranked No. 3 nationally and his boys team No. 12 nationally by The Harrier. Ondrasek also has led Southlake to six state runnerup finishes. The Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas named Ondrasek its Class 5A Girls Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2006, and he also earned Coach of the Year honors from the Dallas Morning News and the Texas Girls Coaches Association in 2006.

 

 

Boy's Golf - Terry Nelson
Whitefish High School
Whitefish, Montana

Nelson's teams at Whitefish swept the 2006 boys and girls Class A state team titles. It was the third time his teams had accomplished that feat, also sweeping the state crowns in 1988 and 1990. For his boys teams, it was their third consecutive state title and their third unbeaten season in a row. In 23 years at the helm, Nelson has directed seven of his boys teams to state titles. His girls teams twice won five state titles in a row - from 1986-90 and 1995-99 - and have won 12 state crowns under his direction, for a combined total of 19 state titles. The National High School Athletic Coaches Association selected Nelson as its National Golf Coach of the Year in 2006.

 

 

Girl's Golf - Dr. H. King Oehmig
The Baylor School
Chattanooga, Tennessee

A 1969 Baylor graduate and the Vicar of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Trion, Ga., Dr. Oehmig has been the Head Coach and Director of Golf at the Baylor School for the past 10 years. In that time, he has coached the Red Raiders boys and girls golf teams to 17 Division 2 state team titles. That total includes 10 crowns in the girls team's current 12-year state title streak, the longest in Tennessee high school history in any sport, and his boys teams also own a current seven-year title streak. A member of the golf teams at Baylor and at the University of Virginia, Dr. Oehmig has played in the British Amateur twice, advanced to the USGA Mid-Amateur round of 16 and won many Chattanooga-area events. Three of his golfers earned All-Conference First Team honors at Southeastern Conference schools this spring.

 

 

Boy's Soccer - Gary Montalto
Arlington High School
La Grangeville, New York

Montalto was named the National High School Division 1 Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) after coaching Arlington to its third state title in his 28th season as head coach. His team finished 25-0 this season and No. 3 in the NSCAA/adidas national rankings. Montalto also coached Arlington to state titles in 1984 and 1999, and five of his teams have advanced to the state finals. His career record of 490-78-40 places him sixth on the state's all-time victory list and in the top 30 nationally, and only two coaches in New York boys soccer history have won more state titles. Montalto is the NSCAA regional chairman for high school boys rankings and Coach of the Year committees and serves as boys soccer chairman for New York's Section 1.

 

 

Girl's Soccer - Carlos Giron
St. Thomas Aquinas High School
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

In 24 seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas, Giron's teams have compiled a record of 586-50-12 - second on the national victory list - and won 10 Class 5A state titles, including seven straight from 1993-99. His Raiders also won titles in 1990, 2004 and 2005. Five of Giron's teams finished the season ranked No. 1 nationally by the NSCAA, in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2004, and the Raiders own national records for goals in a season (238), consecutive victories (118), unbeaten streak (145), consecutive shutouts (26) and shutouts in a season (29). Giron received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Athletic Coaches Association and National Coach of the Year honors from the National Federation of State High School Associations in 1997, and was inducted into the Broward Hall of Fame in 1994.

 

 

Boy's Swimming - John Turner
Jenks High School
Jenks, Oklahoma

Turner has been a successful coach in four states, but his Jenks teams have stood out over his 22 years as swimming and water polo coach. His teams have won 20 state swimming team titles, with his boys team taking its 12th title this year under his direction. He led the Trojans boys teams to nine consecutive titles (1996-2004). His girls team finished second this year and the Trojan girls have won eight state crowns. Five times - in 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003 and 2004 - both the Jenks boys and girls teams took state titles. His swimmers own five individual and six relay state records. Three of his swimmers have competed in the Olympic Games and he has produced six NAIA national champions, 92 high school state champions and 66 high school All-Americans.

 

 

Girl's Swimming - Jean Chard
Lafayette High School
Wildwood, Missouri

Chard's teams at Lafayette have won 12 state titles and taken home 30 state trophies in his 30-year coaching career. His girls teams have been particularly successful, winning the state title this year, scoring in all 12 events for its fifth state crown in seven years. Lafayette also won four consecutive titles from 2001-04, finishing second in 2005 and 2006. Chard also coached the Lafayette boys teams from 1980-97, and in 1997 his boys and girls teams both won state titles. The National Federation of State High School Associations named Chard its National Swimming Coach of the Year in 2004.

 

 

Boy's Tennis - Tom Pullen
Pioneer High School
Ann Arbor, Michigan

It's been more than seven years - April 17, 2000, to be exact - since a Pullen-coached boys team at Pioneer lost a dual meet. They also posted tournament winning streaks of 52 and 50 straight through last season, and are favored to win a seventh consecutive Division 1 team title this spring. In the 2005 and 2006 seasons, Pullen's boys teams posted a 526-16 match record and combined for 44 state singles or doubles crowns. Now in his 17th season, Pullen's boys teams have won a total of eight state titles; his girls teams have won four state crowns and posted a seventh runnerup finish last fall. A retired dentist who was a member of the wrestling team at the University of Michigan, Pullen didn't take up tennis until the age of 35, but since then has won 10 city doubles championships. He was voted the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association's Division 1 Coach of the Year in 2006.

 

 

Girl's Tennis - Steve Paulsen
Edina High School
Edina, Minnesota

Paulsen has coached Edina's girls teams for 15 seasons, and his teams have won the last 10 Class AA state team titles, with 11 titles overall. His Hornets teams have won 108 of 109 conference dual meets, and his career record stands at 320-9. His players have won six state singles titles and six state doubles titles. In 2005, Paulsen was selected the Class AA Girls Tennis Coach of the Year by the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association. In addition to coaching girls tennis at Edina, Paulsen coaches the boys team at Eastview High in Apple Valley, and one of his players advanced to the state singles finals in 2006. He coaches eight women's league teams and three junior development groups, and has been a clinician for the United States Tennis Association at the Fort Snelling Tennis and Learning Center.

 

 

Boy's Track and Field - Joe Howell
Lisbon High School
Lisbon, North Dakota

Howell, who grew up in Lisbon in a family of nine children, was hired at his hometown high school to fill in for a teacher who was given some time off to try to sell his business. The business never sold, and Howell is still coaching track and field 29 years later - and handling athletic director duties as well. Howell also was the school's head basketball coach for eight seasons in the 1980s, started the school's cross country program without a stipend, and also coached baseball and football. But Howell's track program at Lisbon has become a small-school powerhouse, winning 26 region championships to go along with three Class B state team titles. This year's boys and girls teams finished eighth. A seven-time state Coach of the Year, Howell was selected National Track and Field Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association in 2005.

 

 

Girl's Track and Field - James Holdren
Maggie L. Walker Governor's School
Richmond, Virginia

Holdren has been coaching cross country and track for 43 years, beginning his career at the College of William and Mary while he was still a cross country runner on the team. The track and field rules interpreter for the state of Virginia, Holdren was named the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year in 1988 and the Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2006, the same year he was inducted into the NHSACA Hall of Fame. Inducted into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame in 1993, Holdren has compiled 1,227 victories at Thomas Jefferson High in Richmond and at the Governor's School, including a 16-year undefeated streak in girls track, and is the state's all-time leading winner in girls cross country and track. He has coached 10 national record holders, 51 All-Americans, and 115 state champions.

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