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2009 Coach of the Year
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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, North Carolina

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.

 

Girls' 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.

 

Boys' 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.

 

Girls' 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. 

 

Boys' 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.

 

Girls' 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.

 

Boys' 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.

 

Girls' 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.

 

Boys' 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.

 

Girls '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.

 

Boys' 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.

 

Girls' 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.

 

Boys' 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. 

 

Girls' 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.

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