NHSCA announces 2016-17 Coaches of the Year


It was another banner year for so many coaches around the country.  Today, as the head of the National High School Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year nominating committee, I’m proud to release the names of the 20 winners for the 2016-17 school year.

This is the 18th year straight year the NHSCA has honored achievers in the high school coaching community nationwide. This year’s recipients, selected in a total of 20 boys and girls sports, are from 17 different states. Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington lead the way with two Coach of the Year honorees each. Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas each had one coach honored.

2016-17 NHSCA Athletes of the Year

While these coaches represent a multitude of different backgrounds, they exhibit a common theme: a strong dedication to supporting and developing high school student-athletes.

“This announcement is always a lot of fun for me,” said NHSCA Executive Director Eric Hess. “The coaches we are honoring today are outstanding examples for successful high school coaches in their sport. They place a high value on the teamwork skills their players learn for success in the classroom and on the field, and we are proud to be honoring all of them.”

Each one of the honorees receives a beautiful trophy, plus each will be honored in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum that the NHSCA will be building in the near future.

Following are the NHSCA’s selections as the 2016-17 National High School Coaches of the Year, along with a list of past winners.


Todd Boyer – Shawnee High School, Shawnee, Oklahoma

This past season, Todd Boyer led Shawnee to its third straight Oklahoma Class 5A state title. Shawnee finished a perfect 40-0 and No. 1 in the USA TODAY Super 25 national rankings. Shawnee will take a 52-game win streak into the 2018 season.

Boyer, who has been at the school 26 years as a coach, the last 11 as Shawnee’s head coach, was the 2014-15 Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association’s Oklahoma Baseball Coach of the Year. He was also named the National Federation of State High Schools Association’s Southwest Sectional Coach of the Year for 2015.

Boyer is the first coach from Oklahoma to win the NHSCA National Baseball Coach of the Year Award.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Baseball Coach of the Year:

2016 – Rich Bielski – Archbishop McCarty HS, Florida

2015 – Chan Brown – Parkview HS, Georgia
2014 – Ken Frank – Toms River South HS, New Jersey
2013 – Phil Clark – Bartlett High School, Bartlett, Tennessee
2012 – Gene Schultz – Kee HS, Iowa
2011 – Tom O’Connell – Catholic Central HS, Wisconsin
2010 – Jerry Dawson – Chaparral HS, Arizona
2009 – Guy Anderson – Cordova HS, California
2008 – Jerry Boatner – West Lauderdale HS, Florida
2007 – Ron Eastman – The Woodlands, Texas
2006 – Scott Salow – Homer HS, Michigan
2005 – Stan McKeever – La Cueva HS, New Mexico
2004 – Jeff Griffith – Cactus HS, Arizona
2003 – Jim Danley – Eaton HS, Colorado
2002 – John Lowery – Jefferson HS, West Virginia
2001 – Rich Hofman – Westminster Academy, Florida
2000 – Sam Blalock – Rancho Bernardo, California

Boys’ Basketball

Tyrone Slaughter – Whitney Young High School, Chicago, Illinois

This past season, Tyrone Slaughter led Whitney Young to the Illinois Class 4A state championship, finishing No. 25 in the nation in the USA TODAY Super 25. It was the third time the Dolphins had won a state title under Slaughter, who said after the game, “Everyone on this roster is a star. Everybody on this roster does something that makes our team good.”

Coach Slaughter is known for playing one of the toughest schedules in the country year-in and year-out. This year, aside from its rugged Chicago Public League schedule, Whitney Young played teams from six different states.

Slaughter’s lifetime record is 262-96 with 33 young men gaining college scholarships under his coaching.

Slaughter is the second coach from Illinois to win the Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year award. Bob Williams of Schaumburg High School won the award in 2001

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year:

2016 – Sharman White – Miller Grove HS, Georgia

2015 – Melvin Randall – Blanche Ely HS , Florida

2014 – Gary McKight – Mater Dei HS, California

2013 – Tony Harper – Montwood HS, Texas

2012 – Douglas Lipscomb – Wheeler HS, Georgia

2011 – Vito Montelli – St. Joseph HS, Connecticut

2010 –  Harvey Kitani – Fairfax HS, California

2009 –  Jack Curran – Archbishop Molloy, New York

2008 – Dick Katte – Denver Christian HS, Colorado

2007 – Bob Hurley, Sr. – St. Anthony HS, New Jersey

2006 – Jack Keefer, Lawrence North HS, Indiana

2005 – Robert Hughes, Dunbar HS, Texas

2004 – Charles Smith, Peabody Magnet HS, Louisiana

2003 – Dave Garvin, Philomath HS, Oregon

2002 – Jack Butcher, Loogootee HS, Indiana

2001 – Bob Williams, Schaumburg HS, Illinois

2000 – Russell Otis, Dominguez HS, California

Girls’ Basketball

Randy Coffman – Riverdale High School, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Randy Coffman led Riverdale to its second straight Tennessee Class AAA championship during the 2016-17 school year. Riverdale was named national champs by USA TODAY and MaxPreps after finishing with a 34-0 record. Coffman, who was also named the 2017 Naismith High School Girls’ Coach of the Year, has led his team to 43 straight wins since the 2015-16 season.

Coffman was named Riverdale’s head coach prior to the 2015-16 season after coaching at Dyersburg High School for years. His record at Riverdale is 66-4. His lifetime coaching record is 433-163.

Coffman is the second Tennessee coach to be named the NHSCA National Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year. Blackman’s Chad Hibdon won the award in 2015.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year:

2016 – Antwain Scales, Wichita South Kansas

2015 – Chad Hibdon, Blackman HS, Tennessee

2014 – Mike Kopp, Allentown Central Catholic HS, Pennsylvania

2013 – Miner Webster, Highland HS, Arizona

2012 – David Schlabach – Hiland HS, Ohio

2011 – Kevin Kiernan – Mater Dei HS, California

2010 – Cathy Self-Morgan – Duncanville HS – Texas

2009 – Brian Harrigan – Sacred Heart Cathedral HS, California

2008 – Dorothy Gaters – John Marshall HS, Illinois

2007 – Leta Andrews – Granbury HS, Texas

2006 – Bob Mackey – Christ the King HS, New York

2005 – Brad Smith – Oregon City HS, Oregon

2004 – Ed Grezinsky – Murry Bergtraum HS, New York

Boys’ Cross Country

Timo Mostert – American Fork High School, American Fork, Utah

Timo Mostert began coaching the American Fork boys’ cross country team in 1998. His team has competed in every state championship since he took over the program, winning seven team championships. In 2016, Mostert led American Fork to its seventh team championship in the last eight years. In December, Mostert and his boys finished second at the Nike Cross Nationals. It was the second time in five years that American Fork finished runner-up at the national championships.

Casey Clinger was the Individual Nike Cross Nationals’ National Champion for the second-year in a row, plus he won the NHSCA Boys’ Cross County Athlete of the Year. He’s the first boy to win back-to-back Nike Cross County national titles in the 13-year history of the meet. Mostert has coached 38 cross country all-state runners and 17 individual state champions in the sport.

Mostert is the first coach to win the NHSCA’s National Boys’ Cross Country Coach of the Year.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Boys’ Cross Country Coach of the Year:

2016 – Doug Soles – Great Oak HS, California

2015 –  Ken Skelly – La Salle Academy, Rhode Island

2014 – Mark Wieczorek – Gig Harbor HS, Washington

2013 – Jeff Morris – Perham HS, Minnesota

2012 – Laurens TenKate – Calvin Christian HS, Michigan

2011 – Adam Kedge – Albuquerque Academy, New Mexico

2010 – Walt Lang – Jesuit HS, California

2009 – Mike Holman – Lawrence Central HS, Indiana

2008 – Van Rose – Shawnee Mission Northwest HS, Kansas

2007 – Bill Greiten – Gillett HS, Wisconsin

2006 – Rick Baker – Hopi HS, Arizona

2005 – Davis Eidahl – Perkin HS, Iowa

2004 – Dan Green – The Woodlands, Texas

2003 – Joe Newton – York Community HS, Illinois

2002 – Rich Trenoze – Bayonne HS, New Jersey

2001 – Don Behnke – Stevens Point HS, Wisconsin

2000 – Joe Newton – York HS, Illinois

Girls’ Cross Country

Amy Eubanks – The Westminster Schools, Atlanta, Georgia

Amy Eubanks has been the school’s head coach since 1991. The Westminster Schools won the 2016 Georgia AAA state championship, which was the 21st state championship under Eubanks’ guidance.  In 2014, she was named Georgia State Coach of the Year by the NFHS.  She was the GACA State Coach of the Year from 1992 through 2004.  In 1997, Eubanks was the co-high school Coach of the Year for all sports given by the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

Eubanks is the first coach from Georgia to win the NHSCA Girls’ Cross Country Coach of the Year award.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Girls’ Cross Country Coach of the Year:

2016 – Mike Smith – Saline HS, Michigan

2015 – Bill Aris – Fayetteville Manlius, New York

2014 – Dave Emmans – Wayzata HS, Minnesota

2013 – Jeff Devantier – Birmingham Seaholm High School, Michigan

2012 – Patrick Castagno – The Tatnall School, Delaware

2011 – Jim Tracy – University HS, California

2010 – Darrell Burmeister – Nodaway Valley HS – Iowa

2009 – Catherine Lempesis – Dutch Fork HS, South Carolina

2008 –  Jerry Popp – Willmar HS, Minnesota

2007 – Robert Ondrasek, Southlake Carroll HS, Texas

2006 – Mark Logan -RHAM Regional, Connecticut

2005 – Mike Woolsey – Lumen Christi HS, Michigan

2004 – Art & Linda Kranick – Saratoga Springs HS, New York

2003 – Michael Bauer – Regis HS, Oregon

2002 –  Jeff Arbogast – Bingham HS, Utah

2001 – George Varvas – Woodbridge HS, California

2000 – Steve Telaneus – Marcus HS, Texas

Field Hockey

Sue Butz-Stavin – Emmaus High School, Emmaus, Pennsylvania

Sue Butz-Stavin, who was the NHSCA National Field Hockey Coach of the Year in 2007, led her school to its second straight Pennsylvania Class 3A state title this last year. The Green Hornets finished undefeated for the second straight season and now own a 55-game win streak. Butz-Stavin, who has been coaching for over 40 years and is America’s all-time winningest field hockey coach, is now seven wins away from 900 lifetime coaching victories. This year’s state title was the 12th for Emmaus under the legendary coach.

The other two coaches to be honored twice by the NHSCA are Bob Ladouceur, former head football coach at De La Salle High School in Concord, California, who was named National Football Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2004 and Joe Newton of York Community High School in Illinois, who won the award in 2000 and 2003.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Field Hockey Coach of the Year:

2016 – Linda Kreiser – Lower Dauphin HS, Pennsylvania

2015 – Laurie Kerr – Warren Hills HS, New Jersey

2014 – Tara Worley – Lakeland HS, Virginia

2013 – Eileen Donahue – Watertown HS, Massachusetts

2012 – Lillian “Lil” Shelton – Severna Park HS, Maryland

2011 – Wendy Wilson – Tabb HS, Virginia

2010 – Danyle Heilig – Eastern Regional HS, New Jersey

2009 – Karen Klassner – Wyoming Seminary, Pennsylvania

2008 –  Robin Chandler – The Hotchkiss School, Connecticut

2007 –  Sue Butz-Stavin – Emmaus HS – Pennsylvania

2006 –  Diane Chapman – Garden City HS – New York

2005 – Amy Longley – Hathaway Brown School, Ohio

2004 – Paul Doughty – Skowhegan HS, Maine

2003 – Debby Watson – Villa Duchesne HS, Missouri

2002 –  Diana Walker – Sanford HS, Maine

2001 – Bob Derr – Lititz HS, Pennsylvania

2000 –  Linda Nixon – Springfield Twp. HS, Pennsylvania


Bruce Rollinson – Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, California

Bruce Rollinson, who has been Mater Dei’s head coach since 1989, owns a record of 272-33-2. Last season Rollinson led his school to a 13-1 record and was ranked No. 14 in the national in the High School Football America National High School Football Rankings.

Since taking-over the reigns of the football program at his alma mater, Rollinson has directed the Monarchs to 11 CIF-Southern Section championship games, winning five titles. In the mid-90’s, two of Rollinson’s teams were named national champions by USA TODAY.

Related: Bruce Rollinson named High School Football America/NHSCA Coach of the Year

Among the top players he has coached are quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Matt Leinart, both of whom went to USC. Rollinson’s current quarterback, sophomore J.T. Daniels, has already thrown 100 touchdowns in his career, which gives him the most in Orange County history with two more years to go.

Rollinson is the second California high school football coach to receive the honor. De La Salle’s Bob Ladouceur, who is one of three two-time winners of the its Coach of the Year award, won the National Football Coach of the Year award in 2001 and 2004.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Football Coach of the Year:

2016 – Gary Joseph, Katy HS, Texas

2015 – Roland Smith, Miami Central HS, Florida

2014 ­– Tom Westerberg, Allen HS, Texas

2013 – J.T. Curtis, John Curtis HS, Louisiana

2012 – Chuck Lenahan – Plymouth HS, New Hampshire

2011 – George Smith – St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Florida

2010 – Jeremy Williams – Greenville HS, Georgia

2009 – John McKissick – Summerville HS, South Carolina

2008 – James Drewry – Booneville HS, Mississippi

2007 – Gary Rankin – Alcoa HS, Tennessee

2006 – Randy Allen – Highland Park HS, Texas

2005 – Charles “Corky” Roger – The Bolles School, Florida

2004 – Bob Ladouceur – De La Salle HS, California

2003 – Chris Jones – Heritage HS, Virginia

2002 – Alan Trimble – Jenks HS, Oklahoma

2001 – Bob Ladouceur – De La Salle HS, California

2000 – Mike Pettine, Sr. – Central Bucks West, Pennsylvania

Boys’ Golf

Hal Rossow – Panorama High School, Panora, Iowa

Hal Rossow closed-out a 38-year coaching career at Panorama High School in the spring with the school’s fourth straight state meet appearance. Rossow led Panorama to 2A state championships in 2015 and 2016. The Iowa High School Golf Coaches Association named Coach Rossow its Class 2A Coach of the Year at the end of each of those championship seasons.

Over the past four seasons, Panorama’s team amassed an incredible 280 wins with just 19 losses. This past season, Rossow’s team finished with a 70-7 record with a third place finish at the state tournament with two all-state selections.

Coach Rossow is the third coach from Iowa to win the NHSCA National Boys’ Golf Coach of the Year. Dave Messerli of Marion won the award in 2015 and Richard Gaard of Decorah won it in 2008.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Boys’ Golf Coach of the Year:

2016 – Bob McPhail – Norwich Free Academy – Connecticut

2015 – Dave Messerli – Marion HS – Iowa

2014 – George Bitner – Spring Lake HS, Michigan

2013 – Jim Jacobsen – Bergen Catholic HS, New Jersey

2012 – Jeff Doherty – Edmond North HS, Oklahoma

2011 – Larry Ries – Hunterdon Central HS, New Jersey

2010 – Darrell Berglund – Hazen HS, North Dakota

2009 – Jim Bennett – Grosse Ile HS, Michigan

2008 –  Richard Gaard – Decorah HS, Iowa

2007 – Terry Nelson – Whitefish HS, Montana

2006 – Marty Donlon – St. Xavier HS, Kentucky

2005 – Rob Prentiss – St. Charles North HS, Illinois

2004 – Bill Roller – Jenks HS, Oklahoma

2003 – Mark Kedy – Ada HS, Oklahoma

2002 – Mike Ellis – Canlais HS, Maine

2001 – David Hutton – Grandville HS, Michigan

2000 – Wayne Everett – Kingston HS, Tennessee

Girls’ Golf

Mark Bender – Bellarmine Prep, Tacoma, Washington

This past season, Mark Bender led Bellarmine Prep to its eighth straight Washington state championship, which is a state record for consecutive state titles. In May, Bellarmine won the state title easily with 163.75 points to second place Camas’ 67.75 points. Bellarmine was led by freshman Julia Bordeaux, who finished tied for third at the state tournament.

Bender also led the Lions to a 2003 state title before stepping away from the program for four years.

Bender is the first coach from Washington to win the NHSCA National Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year:

2016 – Margaret Stanley – Socorro HS, New Mexico

2015 – Leslie Bender – Sacred Heart Academy, Kentucky

2014 – Dave Gianferante – Notre Dame Academy, Massachusetts

2013 – Jodi Schoeck – Barrington HS, Illinois

2012 – Karen Gravley – Allen HS, Texas

2011 – Ryan Best – St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Kansas

2010 – Kathy Berglund – Hazen HS, North Dakota

2009 – Ken Van Den Boom – Caledonia HS, Minnesota

2008 – Carol Fromuth – St. Joseph’s Academy, Missouri

2007 – Dr. H. King Oehmig – The Baylor School, Tennessee

2006 – Jim Garrett – Penn HS, Indiana

2005 – Sister Lynn Winsor – Xavier College Prep, Arizona

2004 – Grayson Fitzhugh – Mount Notre Dame, Ohio

2003 – Mary Flande – Sisters HS, Oregon

2002 –  Dewey Stendahl – Middleton HS, Wisconsin

2001 – Sharon Most – Martinsville HS, Indiana

2000 – Donna Pierce – Highland Park HS, Texas

Boys’ Soccer

Hardy Kalisher – Boulder High School, Boulder, Colorado

Kalisher, who has led the school to the playoffs in all of the years that he’s been the team’s head coach, won the program’s second state title in 2016 with a perfect 20-0 record. Boulder beat Broomfield for the 5A championship on the 14th round of penalty kicks. USA TODAY ranked Boulder No. 2 in the nation in its Super 25 fall rankings.

Under Kalisher, Boulder High won the first state title in the program’s history in 2012. In addition, the Panthers finished runner-up in 2014 and were state semi-finalists in 2010 and 2013. In 2012, Kalisher was named the Colorado High School Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year. During the same year, Kalisher won the prestigious National Double-Coach of the Year Award.

Coach Kalisher is the first coach from Colorado to win the NHSCA National Boys’ Soccer Coach of the Year.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Boys’ Soccer Coach of the Year:

2016 – Mike McLaughlin – St. Ignatius HS, Ohio

2015 – Terry Michler – Christian Brothers College, Missouri

2014 – Greg Vitello – De Smet HS, Missouri

2013 – Paul Rose – Jesuit HS, California

2012 – Andy Schulten – St. Xavier HS, Kentucky

2011 – Jerry Little – North Central HS, Indiana

2010 – Chuck Scanlon – Apple Valley HS, Minnesota

2009 – Craig Ewing – St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Kansas

2008 – John Kissner – Walsh Jesuit HS, Ohio

2007 – Gary Montalto – Arlington HS, New York

2006 –  Dave Pinkham – Gilford HS, New Hampshire

2005 – William Stara – River Hill HS, Maryland

2004 – Charlie Martel – St. Louis University HS, Missouri

2003 – Donald Gregg – Severna HS, Maryland

2002 – Shawn Brower – Orangewood Christian School, Florida

2001 – Bruno Schwarz – North Allegheny HS, Pennsylvania

2000 – John Stockton – Mountain View HS, Utah

Girls’ Soccer

Joe Finocchiaro – Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, Connecticut

This past season, Joe Finocchiaro led Glastonbury to its third straight Connecticut Class LL state championship. During that stretch, Glastonbury has won 60 straight matches, which is a Connecticut state record.

Finocchiaro, who is a Glastonbury alum, took-over the girls’ soccer program 2009 and has now led his alma mater to four state championship appearances with three titles. This past season, Glastonbury finished No. 2 in the USA TODAY Girls Super 25 fall soccer rankings.

Coach Finocchiaro is the first coach from Connecticut to win the NHSCA National Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year:

2016 – Brian Elliott – Union High School – Oklahoma

2015 – Brandon Silva – Immaculate Heart Academy, New Jersey

2014 – Paul Heenehan – Ramapo High School, New Jersey

2013 – Vince Drake – Trinity Catholic HS, Missouri

2012 – Clare Collins – Broad Run HS, Virginia

2011 – Hank Tenney – Rivendell Academy, New Hampshire

2010 – Troy Tokarchik – Bishop Kelly HS, Oklahoma

2009 – Julie Bergstrom – Waubonsie HS, Illinois

2008 – Steve Racine – Kinnelon HS, New Jersey

2007 – Carlos Giron – St. Thomas Aquinas, Florida

2006 – Laura Rountree – M. Stoneman Douglas HS, Florida

2005 – Rusty Taylor – University HS, California

2004 – Jim Burnside – New Trier HS, Illinois

2003 – Douglas Freeman – Marlborough HS, Massachusetts

2002 – Maureen McVey – St. Joseph’s Academy, Missouri

2001 – Fred Dixon – Carmel HS, Indiana

2000 – James Gardner – Cheyenne East HS, Wyoming


Dani Weir – Woodinville High School, Woodinville, Washington

Dani Weir led Woodinville to Washington 4A state championship this past season. Weir, who won a state championship as a player at Woodinville in 2005, has led the Falcons to four straight league titles, plus finished runner-up in the state in 2016.

Woodinville, which finished 26-0 this season, finished ranked No. 4 in the USA TODAY High School Sports Super 25 softball rankings. Last year, Weir was named the Seattle Times Softball Coach of the Year.

Weir is the first coach from Washington to be named the NHSCA’s National Softball Coach of the Year.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Softball Coach of the Year:

2016 – Bud Weisgarber – Strasburg HS, Ohio

2015 – Ashley Barber-Strunk – Sherwood HS, Maryland

2014 – Monte Sherrill – Alexander Central HS, North Carolina

2013 – Robert Earl Radford – Northern HS, Maryland

2012 – Mark Schusterman – Gulliver Prep, Florida

2011 – Debbie Holcombe – Byrnes HS, South Carolina

2010 –  Robert Iamurri – Naples HS, Florida

2009 – Larry Niemeyer – Jefferson HS, Iowa

2008 – Wally Hausdorf – William Cullen HS, New York

2007 – Tony Scarbrough – Baker HS, Alabama

2006 – Jeff Griffith – Cactus HS, Arizona

2005 – James McClanahan – Fort Bend Elkins HS, Texas

2004 – Sammy Dunn -Vestavia Hills HS, Alabama

2003 – Glen Rutenbar – Bartow HS, Florida

2002 – Gary Adams – Crescent HS, South Carolina

2001 – Dwayne Ross – Weatherford HS, Texas

2000 – Shelly Bollin – Brazoswood HS, Texas

Boys’ Swimming

Rich Howley – Dallastown High School, Dallastown, Pennsylvania

Rich Howley, who retired at the end of the 2016-17 season, coached the boys and girls swimming programs for three decades at Dallastown. Under his reign, the Wildcats won 50 York-Adams League titles — 25 by the boys and 25 by the girls — and a girls’ District 3 championship. He also coached six swimmers to individual state gold medals with 40 district champions and more than 100 All-Americans.

“I want my legacy to be what I built in children in terms of their character,” said Howley after his retirement. “That’s what I’ve always wanted. From myself and my staff.”

Howley is the first coach from Pennsylvania to win the NHSCA National Boys’ Swimming Coach of the Year Award.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Boys’ Swimming Coach of the Year:

2016 – Mark Moorehouse – Fossil Ridge HS, Colorado

2015 – Larry Rogers – Bellarmine Prep, California

2014 – Joe Pereira – Skyline HS, Utah

2013 – Kevin Kinel – Chesterton HS, Indiana

2012 – Dave Hanson – Bishop Hendricken HS, Rhode Island

2011 – Art Downey – Edina HS, Minnesota

2010 – Mel Roberts – Tooele HS, Utah

2009 – Mike Torrey – Zeeland West HS, Michigan

2008 – Marty O’Toole – St. Xavier HS, Kentucky

2007 – John Turner – Jenks HS, Oklahoma

2006 – Brian Metheny – Sunnyslope HS, Arizona

2005 – Mark Onstott – New Trier HS, Illinios

2004 – Jim Brower – St. Xavier HS, Ohio

2003 – Virginia Weber – Moorestown HS, New Jersey

2002 – Dr. Rick Creed – Parkview HS, Georgia

2001 – Dave Coffman – St. Xavier HS, Ohio

2000 – Larry Shofe – The Bolles School, Florida

Girls’ Swimming

Mel Roberts – Tooele High School, Tooele, Utah

Mel Roberts, who retired at the end of this past season after 48 years as the head of the Tooele swimming program, makes NHSCA history by becoming the first coach to be honored as both a boys’ and girls’ Coach of the Year. Roberts, who led both programs to 549 overall victories, was named the NHSCA Boys’ Swimming Coach of the Year in 2010.

Roberts’ 549 wins are 200 more than any other swim coach in Utah. In addition to the victories, Roberts’ teams won 11 state titles. Roberts, who is a Tooele alum, was a great swimmer himself, having won four state titles when he was in high school.

Roberts is the first coach from Utah to win the NHSCA Girls’ Swimming Coach of the Year.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Girls’ Swimming Coach of the Year:

2016 – Tina Bates – Buchholz HS, Florida

2015 – Chris Plumb – Carmel HS, Indiana

2014 – Rich & Ron Blanc – Santa Margarita Catholic HS, California

2013 – Nick Frasersmith – Regis Jesuit, Colorado

2012 – Bruce Woodbury – New Trier HS, Illinois

2011 – Brian Gross – Charlotte Catholic HS, North Carolina

2010 – Marty Keating – Pittsford Central HS, New York

2009 – Kent Kirchner – The Woodlands, Texas

2008 – Pete Higgins – The Westminster Schools, Georgia

2007 – Jean Chard – Lafayette HS, Missouri

2006 – John Casadia – Vineland HS, New Jersey

2005 – Andy Pedersen – Hamilton Southeastern HS, Indiana

2004 – Jeff Poppell – The Bolles School, Florida

2003 – Denny Hill – Pioneer HS, Michigan

2002 – Tim Beerman – Ursuline Academy, Ohio

2001 – Ken Stopkotte – Carmel HS, Indiana

2000 – Sandy Martin – Providence HS, North Carolina 

Boys’ Tennis

Mike Sabin – Wellesley High School, Wellesley, Massachusetts

In May Mike Sabin won his 500th match as the head coach of the Wellesley tennis program. Sabin captured his 500th victory with a 4-1 win over arch-rival Needham. This past season, Wellesley finished 16-2, winning Massachusetts’ South Section championship and advanced to the state Division 1 semifinals.

In 28 years as the school’s head coach, he’s only had one losing season. His 2010 team was a perfect 26-0, winning the school’s first state championship. Sabin also led Wellesley to a Division 2 state title in 2005.

Coach Sabin is the first coach from Massachusetts to win the NHSCA National Boys’ Tennis Coach of the Year.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Boys’ Tennis Coach of the Year:

2016 – Al Must, Adams HS, Michigan

2015 – Dan Holden, Highland Park, Texas

2014 – Rusty Komori, Punahou School, Hawaii

2013 – Tony Splendore – Mt. Pleasant HS, Pennsylvania

2012 – Bill Kingston – Moorestown HS, New Jersey

2011 – Kelly Mulligan – Gulliver Prep, Florida

2010 – James Soloman – William Hall HS, Connecticut

2009 – Connie Jones – Greenwich HS, Connecticut

2008 – Preston Jackson, Jr. – Boys Latin School, Maryland

2007 – Tom Pullen – Pioneer HS, Michigan

2006 – Tim Mang – Corona del Mar HS, California

2005 – Don Barnes – Bishop O’Gorman HS, South Dakota

2004 – Tony Kamen – Naples HS, Florida

2003 – Bob Wood – University Liggett School, Michigan

2002 – Jerry Lacey – St. Mark’s School, Texas

2001 – Leo Scoda – Phoenixville HS, Pennsylvania

2000 – Gary Pilling – Walker HS, Alabama

Girls’ Tennis

Brian Higgins – Ellsworth High School, Ellsworth, Maine

Brian Higgins has the distinction of being Maine’s winningest coach in both tennis and soccer.   Higgins has won over 600 total tennis matches with over 300 victories for each the boys’ and girls’ programs. His record as a soccer coach was 566-103-45 in 42 years, before retiring in 2016.

The Ellsworth girls’ program has had five state runner-up finishes, while the boys’ program captured a state title in 1996 with five runner-up finishes.

Higgins is the second coach from Maine to win the NHSCA National Girls’ Tennis Coach of the Year. Anita Murphy of Lewiston High School won the award in 2011.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Girls’ Tennis Coach of the Year:

2016 – Kim Marchese, Ramapo HS, New Jersey

2015 – Laurie Martin, Xavier Prep, Arizona

2014 – Father Frank Kissel, Marist HS, Georgia

2013 – Vincent Romeo – The Miami Valley School, Ohio

2012 – Dick Villaflor – The Heritage Hall School, Oklahoma

2011 – Anita Murphy – Lewiston HS, Maine

2010 – Dave Steinbach – Brookfield Central HS, Wisconsin

2009 – Jeff Holman – Haddonfield Memorial, New Jersey

2008 – Ed Yarbrough – Jasper HS, Indiana

2007 – Steve Paulsen – Edina HS, Minnesota

2006 – Michael Kypriss – Dr. Michael Krop HS, Florida

2005 – Kristie Stevens – Catalina Foothills HS, Arizona

2004 – Emilio Gonzalez – Sunset HS, Florida

2003 – Anni Miller – Lakeridge HS, Oregon

2002 – Susan Stevens – Beverly Hills HS, California

2001 – Jo Cabana – Cardinal Gibbons HS, Florida

2000 – Steve Spivey – Needham Broughton HS, North Carolina

Boys’ Track & Field

Juris Green – The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands, Texas

Juris Green led the school to its second overall state championship in the spring, the first for the school since 1999. Green’s father was the head coach of the first state championship team. This year’s team won the title with 60 points, which was four more than second place George Ranch.

This year’s championship was won on the strength of nine athletes who qualified for the UIL state championships. Green’s athletes won four gold medals and one silver, plus the 4X200 relay team also captured gold.

Green is also the head coach of the school’s cross-country program that won the state’s 6A state title in the fall. It’s the first time that the same school has won cross country and track and field titles in the same year.

Coach Green is the first coach from Texas to win the NHSCA National Boys’ Track and Field Coach of the Year Award.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Boys’ Track & Field Coach of the Year:

2016 – Aaron Berndt – Wayzata HS, Minnesota

2015 – John Jones – Spring Valley HS, South Carolina

2014 – Alex Armeteros – St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Florida

2013 – Robert Steele – North Rowan HS, North Carolina

2012 – Woody Barnett – Pearl HS, Mississippi

2011 – Robbie Robinson – Mountain View HS, Arizona

2010 – Pete Boudreaux – Catholic HS, Louisiana

2009 – Dennis McNulty – Warren Central HS, Indiana

2008 – Warren Mitchell – Limon HS, Colorado

2007 – Joe Howell – Lisbon HS, North Dakota

2006 – Pat Galle – UMS Wright, Alabama

2005 – Don Carnahan – Russellville HS, Alabama

2004 – Chad Walker – Wheeler HS, Georgia

2003 – Rob Johnson – Clare HS, Michigan

2002 – Lindy Remigino – Hartford HS, Connecticut

2001 – Roger Mathiesen – Kearney HS, Nebraska

2000 – Chuck Koeppen – Carmel HS, Indiana

Girls’ Track & Field

Tom Esslinger – Homewood High School, Homewood, Alabama

Esslinger led the Homewood girls to their fourth straight state championship in May. Led by sprinter Jasmine Griffin, who won three individual gold medals along with a relay gold, Homewood took home seven gold medals in individual events, plus one in the 4X400 relay.

The state title was the tenth overall for Esslinger, who is head coach of the boys’ team as well. Since taking-over in 2005, Homewood girls and boys have captured ten state titles with nine runner-up finishes. The track and field title gave the Homewood girls a three-peat this year under Esslinger. The Homewood girls also won the cross country and indoor track state titles during the 2016-17 school year.

Coach Esslinger is the second coach from Alabama to win the NHSCA National Girls’ Track and Field Coach of the Year award. Jim Tate of St. Paul’s Episcopal School won it in 2010.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Girls’ Track & Field Coach of the Year:

2016 – Carmen Jackson, Northwestern HS – Florida

2015 – Jim Ciccarello, La Cueva HS – New Mexico

2014 – Don Norford, Long Beach Poly, California

2013 – June Villers – DeSoto HS, Texas

2012 – David Turnbull – Summit HS, Oregon

2011 – Susan Curnias – William H. Hall HS, Connecticut

2010 – Jim Tate – St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Alabama

2009 – Bill Stamper – Oak Ridge HS, Florida

2008 – Bryan Westfield – Pioneer HS, Michigan

2007 – James Holdren – Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, Virginia

2006 – Ed Bowie – Central HS, Maryland

2005 – Dan Kulper – Valley Christian HS, Arizona

2004 – Leon McKenzie – Benson Polytechnic HS, Oregon

2003 – Bryan Westfield – Pioneer HS, Michigan

2002 – Ted Knudson – Northrop HS, Indiana

2001 – Neal Morris – T.W. Andrews HS, North Carolina

2000 – Larry Colbert – Eleanor Roosevelt HS, Maryland


Ben Maxfield – Corona del Sol High School, Temple, Arizona

Ben Maxfield, who’s been the head coach at Corona del Sol for more than a decade, led the school to Arizona’s Class 6A title for the 2016-17 school year, the school’s first since 1991. The team finished 39-5 last season with USA TODAY ranking the school No. 5 in its Super 25 national rankings.

During Maxfield’s reign as head coach, Corona del Sol has won one state title with two runner-up finishes, along with a 3rd place and 5th place finish.

Coach Maxfield is the first coach from Arizona to win the NHSCA National Volleyball Coach of the Year.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Volleyball Coach of the Year:

2016 – Jean Kesterson, Indianapolis Cathedral HS, Indiana

2015 – Susan Odenbaugh, Lewis-Palmer HS, Colorado

2014 – Rick Lorenz, Portland Central Catholic, Oregon

2013 – Jack Magelssen – Denton Kellogg School, Michigan

2012 – Tom Turco – Barnstable HS, Massachusetts

2011 – Fred Rakers  – Mater Dei HS, Illinois

2010 – Laurie LaRusso – Darien HS, Connecticut

2009 –  Jan Stanley – West Henderson HS , North Carolina

2008 – Peg Kopec – St. Francis HS, Illinois

2007 – Steve Shondell – Burris Laboratory, Indiana

2006 – Louise Crocco – Cardinal Gibbons HS, Florida

2005 – Brenda LeBlanc – St. Joseph’s Academy, Louisiana

2004 – Lee Grisham – Wimberley HS, Texas

2003 – Arnie Meyer – Ursuline Academy, Ohio

2002 – Jan Barker – Amarillo HS, Texas

2001 – John Knuth – Marysville HS, Michigan

2000 – Larry Trupe – Torrey Pines, California


Mike Palazzo – Lake Highland Prep, Orlando, Florida

Palazzo has brought Lake Highland Prep to the top of the rankings since he took over the program in 2009. LHP was ranked fourth in the nation for the majority of the 2016-2017 season. Lake Highland became just the third school in state history to win five state titles in six years, joining Brandon and South Dade.

This year, LHP set a new team record with points at the Florida State tournament with 298.5 points and a total of eight individual champions. They have wins over top ranked Bethlehem Catholic, Malvern Prep before dropping to #1 Blair Academy.

Palazzo is the second coach from Florida to be selected as the Coach of the Year as Russ Cozart of Brandon High School was the Coach of the Year in 2000.

Following are the NHSCA’s past selections for National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year:

2016 – Scott Green – Wyoming Seminary (Pennsylvania)

2015 – Mike Powell – Oak Park River Forest (Illinois)

2014 – Dave Dean – Lowell (Michigan)

2013 – Steve Tirapelle – Clovis (California)

2012 – Pat Simpson – Father Ryan (Tennessee)

2011 – Cliff Ramos – Collins Hill (Georgia)

2010 – Barry Chooljian – Timberlane (New Hampshire)

2009 – Jeff Sweigard – Central Dauphin (Pennsylvania)

2008 – Bill Jacoutot – Spencerport (New York)

2007 – Jerry Winterton – Cary (North Carolina)

2006 – Mike Polz – Carl Sandburg (Illinois)

2005 – Roy Hall – Davison (Michigan)

2004 – Terry Dubert – Northampton (Pennsylvania)

2003 – Jeff Jordan – St. Paris Graham (Ohio)

2002 – David East – Bakersfield (California); Jim Jackson – Apple Valley (Minnesota)

2001 – Dave Crowell – Wilson Borough (Pennsylvania); Jeff Jordan – Clarksville (Tennessee)

2000 – Russ Cozart – Brandon (Florida); Scott Legacy – Mount Anthony Union (Vermont); Herb Stinson – Aztec (New Mexico)

1999 – Lewie Benitz – Lincoln (Wisconsin); Keith Healy – Providence Catholic (Illinois); Tim Marzuola – Highlands Park (Texas); Dick Rhoades – Bald Eagle Area (Pennsylvania)

1998 – Jim Poston – Montgomery Bell Academy (Tennessee)

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.

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