The United States Olympic Committee today announced its annual award recipients for 2013 national coaches of the year. On the Olympic side, Erik Flora (cross-country skiing; Anchorage, Alaska) was recognized as National Coach of the Year, while Adam Bleakney (Paralympic track & field; Champaign, Illinois) took home Paralympic National Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, Kathleen Johnston (triathlon; Nashville, Tennessee) was named Developmental Coach of the Year, Bienvenido “Benny” Roman (boxing; Brooklyn, New York) was selected Volunteer Coach of the Year and Gordon Uehling III (tennis; Alpine, New Jersey) took home the Doc Counsilman Science Award.
“It’s an honor to recognize these coaches for their impact on countless athletes around the country,” said Alan Ashley, USOC chief of sport performance. “Their tireless efforts and dedication to helping athletes strive for excellence is an inspiration to all.”
National Governing Bodies selected their 2013 Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. Three national finalists in each category were selected by a panel of coaching and sport education professionals.
National Coach of the Year – Erik Flora
As head coach of the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club, Flora directed four cross-country athletes from the 13-member U.S. team that competed at the 2013 World Championships, including 2013 team sprint world champion Kikkan Randall. The win marked the first world championship gold medal in cross-country skiing for the U.S., and the first medal of any color in a team event. Under Flora’s guidance, Randall and Holly Brooks also led the U.S. women’s team to its first relay podium finish in world cup history, and Randall became the first American woman to finish in the top-three of the overall FIS Cross-Country World Cup standings. Flora also aided other top U.S. skiers to breakthrough results in 2013, including Sadie Bjorsen, Erik Bjornsen and overall SuperTour champion Rosie Brennan. For his success, he was recognized as the 2013 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Coach of the Year and the 2013 USSA International Cross-Country Coach of the Year.
Aimee Boorman – Gymnastics
Adam Soldati – Diving
Paralympic National Coach of the Year – Adam Bleakney
A four-time Paralympian, Bleakney helped U.S. athletes earn 13 medals at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee World Athletics Championships in Lyon, France. As head coach for the University of Illinois wheelchair track & field program, Bleakney played a key role in developing world champions Tatyana McFadden and Raymond Martin. At the 2013 World Championships, McFadden led the U.S. medal haul with a historic six gold medals, while Martin – the 2013 USOC Paralympic SportsMan of the Year – became the first man to win five world titles. Overall, Bleakney coached nine athletes on the U.S. world team, including men’s 800-meter champion Josh George and women’s 200 bronze medalist Chelsea McClammer. Following the world championships, Bleakney aided McFadden in becoming the first to win the marathon grand slam with victories at 2013 London, Boston, Chicago and New York City marathons.
Angie Bengtsson – Table Tennis
Brett Wolf – Judo
Developmental Coach of the Year – Kathleen Johnston
Johnston led the Southeast Junior High Performance Triathlon Team to the 2013 USA Triathlon Developmental Team Championship title. Under her guidance, three athletes earned top-three finishes at the 2013 USAT Junior Elite National Championship, and two athletes finished in the top three of the 2013 USAT Junior Elite rankings. Johnston was named the U.S. head coach for the 2013 Pan American Triathlon Confederation Junior Championships and International Triathlon Union Junior Elite World Championships, as well as co-head coach for the USAT Junior Elite Women’s Camp. As the southeast regional athlete development coordinator for USAT, she also held clinics for coaches and parents in the Nashville area, launched the Southeast Junior Elite program and directed the Tennessee chapter of Team in Training.
Sue Phillips – Basketball
Jim White – Archery
Volunteer Coach of the Year – Bienvenido “Benny” Roman
After being selected by USA Boxing to serve as a training camp coach, Roman joined the coaching staff for the 2013 Continental Championships, women’s junior and youth world championships and the 2013 SportAccord World Combat Games, in which he aided American athletes to 26 medals (12 golds, five silvers, nine bronzes). In addition to his coaching role at the Atlas Cops N’ Kids gym in Brooklyn, New York, Roman aided Christina Cruz to a national title and Edgar Berlanga to silver medals at the 2013 Junior World Team Open and 2013 Junior National Championships.
David Lee Moneypenny – Speedskating
Landon Powell – Baseball
National Doc Counsilman Science Award – Gordon Uehling III
Uehling was invited to speak at the 2013 International Tennis Federation World Coaching Conference in Cancun, Mexico, to present his advancements in balance control and slip-step technology. Using video analysis and CourtSense TV, Uehling trained more than 500 junior athletes each week at the CourtSense tennis school in New Jersey. The technology helped players improve their technique by using split-step light coupled with neuro- and biofeedback. His work was featured in the August 2013 issue of Men’s Journal and on the Tennis Channel, which highlighted his mentorship of Olympian Christine McHale. He is currently working with the U.S. Tennis Association to create a pilot program for PlaySight, a revolutionary technology that would allow coaches and players to make line calls.
Shane Domer – Speedskating
Larry Hodges – Table Tennis
All-Time USOC Coach of the Year Award Recipients
National Coach of the Year
The National Coach of the Year is presented to a coach of an elite-level club, collegiate or national-level team, or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level of his/her sport.
1996 Tara VanDerveer, U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Coach
1997 Frank Carroll, Olympic figure skating coach of Michelle Kwan
1998 Ben Smith, U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey coach
1999 Chris Carmichael, Cycling Coach of ***Lance Armstrong
2000 Richard Quick, U.S. Olympic Women’s Swimming Team coach
2001-02 Pete del’Giudice, U.S. Snowboarding coach
2003 Lloyd Woodhouse, USA Shooting National Team coach
2004 Mike Candrea, U.S. Softball Women’s National Team coach
2005 Eddie Reese, U.S. Men’s National Swimming Team coach
2006 Bud Keene, U.S. Snowboarding coach
2007 Guy Baker, U.S. National Water Polo Team coach
2008 Hugh McCutcheon, U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team coach
2009 Bob Bradley, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team coach
2010 Brian Shimer, U.S. men’s bobsled head coach
2011 Rick Bower, U.S. Halfpipe Snowboarding Team coach
2012 Adam Krikorian, U.S. Women’s National Water Polo Team coach
2013 Erik Flora, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club head coach
Paralympic National Coach of the Year
The Paralympic National Coach of the Year is presented to a coach of an elite-level club, collegiate or national-level team, or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level of his/her sport.
2004 Mike Hulett, USA Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team coach
2005 Randi Smith, U.S. Paralympic Archery Team Head coach
2006 Julie O’Neill, U.S. Paralympic Swim Team head coach
2007 Adam Bleakney, U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Track coach
2008 Ken Armbruster, U.S. Paralympic Women’s Goalball head coach
2009 Scott Moore, Denver Judo coach
2010 Ray Watkins, 2010 U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team coach
2011 Dave Denniston, U.S. Paralympic Swimming head coach
2012 Tom Franke, U.S. Paralympic Swimming head coach
2013 Adam Bleakney, U.S. Paralympic Track & Field coach
Developmental Coach of the Year
The Developmental Coach of the Year is presented to a coach at the youth club, high school or junior level, or a coach who is directly responsible for training athletes to reach the junior and/or elite level.
1996 Jeff Shaffer, University of Southern California
1997 Dianne Holum, Speedskating
1998 Mike Stafford, Millvale Golden Gloves Gym (Cincinnati)
1999 Tom Healy, Northbrook (Ill.) Speedskating Club
2000 Fred Zimny, Luge (Lake Placid, N.Y.)
2001-02 Mike Eaves, U.S. National Under-18 Hockey Team
2003 Bob Fraley, Fresno State (Calif.) University Track & Field
2004 Dwayne Miller, Norfolk (Va.) Real Deal Track Club
2005 Tammy Gambill, U.S. Figure Skating
2006 Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson, U.S. Figure Skating
2007 Paul Yetter, USA Swimming
2008 Rajul Sheth, Table Tennis (Milpitas, Calif.)
2009 John Wingfield, Director and Head Coach of USA Diving National Training Center
2010 Michael Nyitray, United States Bowling Congress (Miami, Fla.)
2011 James Hrbek, USA Judo
2012 Michael Nyitray, United States Bowling Congress (Miami, Fla.)
2013 Kathleen Johnston, USA Triathlon
Volunteer Coach of the Year
The Volunteer Coach of the Year is presented to a coach who does not receive payment in any form for his/her involvement in coaching at any level.
2003 Carol Hardemon, Metro Dade (Fla.) Track Club
2004 Barry Hunter, Washington, D.C. Boxing coach
2005 Cindi Hart, IndySpeed Sport Club head coach (speedskating)
2006 Booker Woods, LA JETS head coach (track & field)
2007 Sherman Nelson, USA Taekwondo coach
2008 Rita Gladstone, Area Tennis League coordinator (Volusia County, Fla.)
2009 Brian McCutcheon, Oahu Taekwondo Center instructor
2010 Dave Farmer, Aurora (Colo.) Saracens Rugby Club coach
2011 Tom Waga, Brigham Young University Rugby coach
2012 Don Showalter, USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team coach
2013 Bienvenido “Benny” Roman, USA Boxing Training Camp coach
Doc Counsilman Science Award
The Doc Counsilman Science Award recognizes a coach who utilizes scientific techniques and equipment as an integral part of his/her coaching methods or has created innovative ways to use sport science.
2004 Joe Vigil, USA Track & Field
2005 Dr. Kyle Pierce, USA Weightlifting
2006 Kate Arbour, U.S. Figure Skating
2007 Sean O’Neill, U.S. Paralympics Table Tennis
2008 Dave Bennett, USA Wrestling
2009 Heidi Thibert, U.S. Figure Skating and Edora Pool and Ice Center coach
2010 Dr. Grant Schaffner, U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation
2011 Neal Henderson, USA Cycling
2012 Doug Eng, U.S. Tennis Association
2013 Gordon Uehling III, U.S. Tennis Association
Swimming News courtesy of the USOC.