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Arkansas' Karl Koonce named Girls' Track & Field Coach of the Year

Tuesday, June 11, 2019  
Posted by: Mattie Potter
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The National High School Coaches Association (“NHSCA”) is proud to announce Karl Koonce of Lake Hamilton High School in Pearcy, Arkansas as its National High School Girls’ Track and Field Coach of the Year.

After over four decades of coaching track and field and cross country at Lake Hamilton, Koonce is retiring. During his 46 years as a head coach, Koonce has led the school to 29 state championships and 46 state runner-up finishes. Koonce has coached 12 All Americans in Track and Field.

Koonce has been named Arkansas Coach of the Year 18 times. He’s also been a five-time Section Coach of the Year for Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado, plus National Coach of the Year for Boys Track in 2009 and was the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association State Cross Country Coach of the Year last year.

“We are extremely pleased to honor Coach Koonce,” said Eric Hess, Executive Director of the NHSCA. “He has established Lake Hamilton as one of the best in Arkansas. He exhibits a strong dedication to supporting and developing his high school student-athletes in the classroom and outside of it.”

Koonce is the first Arkansas coach to be named the NHSCA National Girls’ Track & Field Coach of the Year.

Throughout 2018, the NHSCA has been announcing the 2018-2019 Coach of the Year honorees in 20 boys’ and girls’ sports. This marks the 20th consecutive year the NHSCA has honored achievers within the high school athletic community nationwide.

Each of the honorees will receive a beautiful plaque. In addition, the Coach of the Year honoree will be displayed in the National High School Digital Sports Hall of Fame that is currently under development.

Past NHSCA National Girls’ Track and Field Coaches of the Year:
2018 – Jesse Griffin, Lee’s Summit West HS, Missouri
2017 – Tom Esslinger, Homewood HS, Alabama
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

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