INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Greenwich girls swimming and diving coach Richard Hawks was one of twenty-one high school coaches from across the country selected as 2013 National Coaches of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
In his final season at the helm of the Greenwich program Hawks led the Cardinals to the LL Championship, a third-place finish at the Open Championship, and finished atop the FCIAC East Division standings in the fall. Greenwich won 10 Open Championships since 2000 under Hawks guidance, as well as 11 divisional titles.
The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in one “other” sport that is not included in the top 10 listings. The NFHS also recognizes a Spirit coach as a separate award category. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2012-13 school year.
Recipients of this year’s national awards for girls sports, including Hawks are:
Richard Kates Jr., track and field, Higham (Massachusetts) Notre Dame Academy; Rhonda Farney, basketball, Georgetown (Texas) High School;Mary Jo Cerqua, volleyball, Baldwinsville (New York) High School; Thomas Hasbrouck, soccer, Buckhannon-Upshur (West Virginia) High School; Jeff Hulse, softball, Olathe (Kansas) East High School; Steven Porter, cross country, Milan (Michigan) High School; Philip Rudolph, tennis, Fayetteville-Manlius (New York) High School; Richard Hawks, swimming and diving, Greenwich (Connecticut) High School; and Margaret Stanley, golf, Socorro (New Mexico) High School. There was no national coach selected for girls lacrosse.
Recipients of the 2013 NFHS national awards for boys sports are:
David Gentry, football, Murphy (North Carolina) High School; John Jones, track and field, Columbia (South Carolina) Spring Valley High School;Dennis Bower, basketball, Onalaska (Washington) High School; Larry Turner, baseball, Owasso (Oklahoma) High School; Gregory Oglesby, soccer, Southlake (Texas) Carroll Senior High School; Bill Johnson, wrestling, Norton (Kansas) Community Senior High School; Claney Duplechin, cross country, Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Episcopal High School; Skip Griese, tennis, Ada (Oklahoma) High School; James McGill, golf, Ottawa Hills (Ohio) High School; andJoe Pereira, swimming and diving, Salt Lake City (Utah) Skyline High School.
The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Michelle Akers of Logan (West Virginia) High School, and Jennifer Haney of Hudson (Ohio) High School was chosen in the other sports category for Field Hockey.
In addition to the 21 National Coaches of the Year, the NFHS Coaches Association has selected John E. Nicolaysen of Oakland, New Jersey, as the recipient of the National Coach Contributor Award. This award is presented to an individual who has gone above and beyond and who exemplifies the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and moral character, and who carries the endorsement of his or her respective state high school association.
The NFHS has a contact person in each state who is responsible for selecting deserving coach award recipients. This contact person often works with the state coaches’ association in his or her respective state. He or she contacts the potential state award recipients to complete a coach profile form that requests information regarding the coach’s record, membership in and affiliation with coaching and other professional organizations, involvement with other school and community activities and programs, and coaching philosophy. To be approved as an award recipient and considered for sectional and national coach of the year consideration, this profile form must be completed by the coach or designee and then approved by the executive director (or designee) of the state athletic/activities association.
The next award level after state coach of the year is sectional coach of the year. The NFHS is divided into eight geographical sections. They are as follows: Section 1 – Northeast (CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT); Section 2 – Mideast (DE, DC, KY, MD, OH, PA, VA, WV); Section 3 – South (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN); Section 4 – Central (IL, IN, IA, MI, WI); Section 5 – Midwest (KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD); Section 6 – Southwest (AR, CO, NM, OK, TX); Section 7 – West (AZ, CA, HI, NV, UT); and Section 8 – Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY).
The NFHS Coaches Association has an advisory committee, composed of a chair and eight sectional representatives. The sectional committee representatives evaluate the state award recipients from the states in their respective sections and select the best candidates for the sectional award in each sport category. The NFHS Coaches Association Advisory Committee then considers the sectional candidates in each sport, ranks them according to a point system, and determines a national winner for each of the 20 sport categories, the spirit category and one “other” category.
A total of 515 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.