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Softball Coach of the Year
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Joe Newton
York High School - Elmhurst, Illinois

"Joe Newton is an outstanding example for successful high school track and field coaches," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "They place a high value on the teamwork skills athletes learn for success in the classroom and on the field, and we are proud to be honoring him."  One of the most storied coaches in any sport in Illinois high school history, Newton, 71, led York's boys cross country and boys track teams to Class AA state titles last year. The cross country title was his 20th in 40 years as head coach, the most team titles won by any coach in any sport in state history. Last year's team was considered perhaps the best in state history, scoring 24 points, the second lowest total ever, and placing six runners in the top 24, including champion and 2000 National Senior Boys Cross Country Athlete of the Year Donald Sage, Newton's third individual titlist. Newton closed the book on a 41-year career as head boys track coach following last spring's team title, the first in the school's history. He will stay on as cross country coach, continuing to mentor a program with more than 100 athletes on its roster.  



Donn Behnke
Stevens Point High School - Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Since Wisconsin's state cross country tournament was expanded to multiple classes in 1949, no coach has won more state team titles than Behnke, who has led Stevens Point High to seven Class A/Division I titles. Behnke's teams were state champions in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1994, 1997, and 1998, while finishing second in 1982, 1984, and 1990. He guided this year's team to a sixth-place state finish.



Rich Trenoze
Bayonne High School - Bayonne, New Jersey

Trenoze has coached boys and girls cross country, indoor and outdoor track at Bayonne High for nearly three decades. All six teams have won more than their share of Hudson County individual and team titles, and several of his runners and track athletes went on to win titles in the prestigious Penn Relays. This year, Trenoze was inducted into the Hudson County Track and Field Hall of Fame by his peers in the Hudson County Track Coaches Association.



Joe Newton
York Community High School - Elmhurst, Illinois

"Joe Newton has served as a model of commitment and excellence to coaches and athletes for nearly a half century," said NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro. "The NHSCA is proud to recognize Joe Newton as the first ever two-time winner of a National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year award." Newton is widely recognized as the most accomplished prep cross country coach, and one of the most successful high school coaches of any sport, in U.S. history. He began a career 49 years ago at York High, and his teams have won 22 state championships, while finishing as runners-up on 10 other occasions. Newton's teams regularly hold more than 100 athletes on roster, as cross country has become a tradition at York. With dozens of coach of the year awards to his credit since 1954, Newton now becomes the first coach to ever receive the NHSCA Coach of the Year honor for a second time. He was first recognized for the honor in 2000.



Dan Green
The Woodlands - The Woodlands, Texas

Dan Green, coach of Th Woodlands, Texas, boys' cross country team has received the NHSCA highest coaching honor after his harriers added an 11th state title to his 34-year coaching resume. The Woodlands both began and finished the season as the top ranked boys' cross country program in the nation, the second time a Green-coached squad has done so.



Davis Eidahl
Pekin High School - Packwood, Iowa

A four-year letterwinner in three sports - cross country, basketball and track and field - in college, Eidahl has coached cross country and track for 41 years, all but one at Pekin High. His teams have won five state championships - three in cross country and two in track - and he has been named state and regional Coach of the Year a combined 16 times in the two sports. He was inducted into the Iowa Association of Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2001. Also a champion race walker, he was an Olympic Trials qualifier in 1972 and has won over 300 races in his career. He is a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association's National Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year.



Rick Baker
Hopi High School - Keams Canyon, Arizona

Coaching in a culture which embraces the physical and spiritual benefits of running, Baker's teams have been virtually perfect during his tenure. Since a state runner-up finish in 1989, Baker's Hopi teams have won the past 16 state championships. After winning 11 straight Class A-2A state titles from 1990-2000, Hopi moved up to Class 3A in 2001 and continued to dominate, winning five more state crowns. For over a decade, Baker also has coached the junior men's teams that compete in national cross-country events for Wings of America, an American Indian youth development program established in 1988 to reach the most "at risk" population in the United States- American Indian youth.



Bill Greiten
Gillett High School - Gillett, Wisconsin

Greiten has had over 40 years of success coaching cross country and track at three Wisconsin schools. He coached the boys cross country and track teams for 32 seasons at two Racine schools - St. Catherine's High (1964-69) and Case High (1970-96). His Case teams advanced to the state tournament 18 times, winning titles in 1973, 1975 and 1989 and posting 14 top-five finishes. A co-founder of the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association, he was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1993, and into the Wisconsin Track and Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007. In 1997, Greiten started the cross country program at Gillett, and still coaches the boys and girls high school and middle school programs. Five of his boys teams have qualified for the state meet, finishing fifth in 2003 and 2004. His girls team finished third in 2004, the school's first girls team to qualify for state in any sport.



Van Rose
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School - Shawnee, Kansas

Rose has been Northwest's only cross country coach since the school opened its doors in 1969. His boys teams have won 14 consecutive Class 6A state titles, the nation's second-longest active streak and second longest all-time, and 19 state titles overall, ninth all-time. He guided the Cougars to their first state title in 1977, and his boys teams have finished in the state's top four 28 times. His girls teams have been almost as successful, winning 12 state titles and recording 24 top-four finishes in the girls state meet's 31-year history. Northwest has swept the boys and girls state titles in nine seasons, most recently in 2005. He has coached seven runners to a total of 11 individual state championships. The Kansas Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association has named Rose its Cross Country Coach of the Year four times, for the boys team in 1990, 2000 and 2006 and the girls team in 1991.  



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.



Walt Lange
Jesuit High School - Sacramento, California

Lange is completing his 41st year as a boys and girls cross country coach and boys track and field coach, the last 37 at Jesuit, and those teams have combined for 37 league titles. He has led Jesuit’s boys cross country team to 25 Sac-Joaquin Section (SJS) titles, including a section-record 15 straight, and nine California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) state titles, more than any other SJS school. Lange also has guided the girls cross country team to four SJS titles, and in 15 years as head coach, his boys track and field teams also took four SJS titles (he has spent the past 23 seasons as an assistant coach). Lange was named Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year by the California Coaches Association in 1981, and he was one of 13 coaches statewide to be honored with the highest honor the CIF bestows upon its coaches, the Model Coach Award, for the 2007-08 school year. Later this year, Lange will be inducted into the SJS Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class.  



Adam Kedge
Albuquerque Academy - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Kedge has coached the boys cross country and track and field teams at Albuquerque Academy for the past 19 seasons, and has been the head coach of both sports since 1998. His teams have won 11 4A state championships in cross country. The Chargers won titles his first five seasons, 1998-2002, and also own a pair of three-year streaks, in 2004-2006 and the past three seasons, 2008-2010. He has led the boys track and field team to nine state crowns – in 1999 and eight of the past 10 years, most recently in 2009 and 2010. Ten of his athletes hold 4A state track and field records, one an all-state record. Under Kedge, the Chargers have been ranked No. 1 nationally twice by The Harrier High School Cross Country Report. The Chargers own 14 district titles, 13 City of Albuquerque championships, 84 meet victories and four undefeated seasons in the past 11 years. Kedge has coached seven cross-country runners to state medalist honors, with two becoming Foot Locker National All-Americans and one a USA Junior World Team member. Kedge was named Regional Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 2001 and 2003. A 10-time state Coach of the Year in cross country and track and field, the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame honored Kedge as its Coach of the Year in 2006. He is the former president of the New Mexico Track and Cross Country Coaches Association.



Laurens TenKate
Calvin Christian High School - Grandville, Michigan

Coaching at a school with a total enrollment of 375 students, TenKate,who coaches the boys and girls cross country teams and the boys track and field team, led Calvin Christian to back-to-back Lower Peninsula boys state championships. His 2009 boys team finished second instate. In winning their second straight Division 3 title, the Squires also cemented their place as the top team in Michigan. That came after Calvin Christian won the prestigious Spartan Invitational, held at Michigan State University. It was their fifth title in six regular-season invitationals, and they have won 19 of 22 invitationals the past three years. Calvin Christian was named the NHSCA Boys Small School National Team Champions by, which ranked the Squires fifth overall nationally. A graduate of Calvin College with degrees in business administration and accounting, TenKate has qualified for the Boston Marathon five times.He served as the controller of the Greater Grand Rapids Home Builders Association and is the owner of Laurens TenKate Builders LLC, a custom home building and remodeling company based in Wyoming, Mich. He coached the girls cross country team to an eighth-place state finish last fall and the boys track and field team to a fifth-place state finish last spring.



Jeff Morris
Perham High School - Perham, Minnesota  

This past season Perham HS, Perham, Minnesota cross country Head Coach Jeff Morris led the Yellowjackets to a state meet record 37-points and 16:16 team average to claim the MSHSL Division A State Team Championship. The following week the Minnesota small school came within 10-points of 3rd place at NXN Heartland and being eligible for an at-large berth for Nike Cross Nationals. The Perham boys team was awarded the Division II National Team Championship as the top school in the nation with a total enrollment less than 500 students while also being ranked US#26 overall.



Monte Sherrill
Alexander Central High School, Taylorsville, North Carolina

Monte Sherrill, who won his 700th career game in 2013, has made a habit out of winning. This past year Sherrill led Alexander Central to its second straight North Carolina Class 4-A state title while running its win streak to 67 straight.  Counting his time at Central Cabarrus High School in the 90’s, Sherrill’s teams own a record of 724-59 for a winning percentage of .925.



Ashley Barber-Strunk
Sherwood High School, Sandy Spring, Maryland

In two years as the school head softball coach, Ashley Barber-Strunk has continued the winning ways at Sherwood.  This past season Barber-Strunk led the school to its fourth straight Maryland 4A state title.  The school will also take an 83-game win streak into the 2015-16 season.   Barber-Strunk is a perfect 41-0 has a head coach.  At the time of her winning the NHSCA 2015 COY award, Sherwood is ranked #5 in the nation by MaxPreps. Barber-Strunk is the second Maryland coach to be named the NHSCA National Softball Coach of the Year. Robert Earl Radford of Northern High School won the award in 2013.



Bud Weisgarber
Strasburg High School, Strasburg, Ohio
This past season, Weisgarber won his 700th career game. Weisgarber, who is a member of the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, started the Strasburg softball program back in 1985. He has coached the Tigers to seven state championships. This season, the Tigers finished second in the Division IV Championships.



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.



















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