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Girls' Track & Field Coach of the Year
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Larry Colbert
Eleanor Roosevelt High School - Greenbelt, Maryland

"Larry Colbert 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 players learn for success in the classroom and on the field, and we are proud to be honoring him." Colbert led the Lady Raiders track team to its fifth consecutive Class 4A state team title last year. Prior to the state tournament, Colbert made a key move that helped his team earn the title. After his 4x100-meter relay team had twice been defeated by rival Largo High, Colbert shuffled the order of the relay for the state tournament, and they won the event to help earn crucial team points. In his 12 years as head coach, Colbert has helped nearly 100 of his athletes earn college scholarships. 



Neal Morris 
T.W. Andrews High School - High Point, North Carolina

Morris, 36, led both the boys and girls teams from T.W. Andrews High to Class 3A state titles this season. The girls team won four events, scoring 76 points to win the title by 23; the boys team added three event victories and scored 52 points for a 12-point margin of victory.  Morris accomplished this while engaged in a personal battle of his own -undergoing chemotherapy treatments for testicular cancer, with which he was diagnosed in mid-March. 



Tom Knudson
Northrop High School - Fort Wayne, Indiana

Knudson just completed his third season as Northrop High's girls track and field coach, and presided over the three most successful seasons in school history as Northrop High won its third consecutive state team title. His team won this year's title with depth, winning just two events but picking up 10 top-five finishes overall. Northrop High now has won five state championships overall in girls track and field - the first two coming in 1981 and 1991 - and became just the second school ever to win three consecutive state titles. With a young team this year, Knudson stands a solid chance to become the first coach to win four in a row next season. 



Bryan Westfield
Pioneer High School - Ann Arbor, Michigan

"Bryan Westfield has had Ann Arbor Pioneer competing at the very top levels of track and field from coast-to-coast for the past two decades," said NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro. "The NHSCA is proud to recognize Coach Westfield as the National High School Track Coach of the Year." Westfield has coached Pioneer High to 13 state championships and four runner-up finishes since 1985. He has also won more than a dozen state high school coach of the year awards in his 24-year career, and has only seen his team lose two dual meets during that same period.



Leon McKenzie
Benson Polytechnic High School - Portland, Oregon

Leon McKenzie of Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland, Oregon is the NHSCA National Coach of the Year in girls' track and field after the school's dynasty status has been solidified with five straight Class 4A titles. 



Dan Kuiper
Valley Christian High School -- Chandler, Arizona

Kuiper has built a small-school powerhouse in the Phoenix area. Last weekend, his girls team won its 11th consecutive Class 2A state title and 14th overall since 1992. His teams also have one runner-up and one third-place finish. In 2002, Kuiper also assumed the boys head coaching duties and has led them to four titles in a row as well.



Ed Bowie
Central High School - Capitol Heights, Maryland

No Maryland girls coach has been more successful than Bowie. His team won the Class 2A-1A indoor track title this year, Bowie's 16th indoor track title overall, and he was named Coach of the Year by the Washington Post. Six of his teams have scored state runner-up finishes. Bowie's outdoor track teams have won 13 state titles, including 12 straight from 1981-92, to go along with five runner-up finishes. Bowie also coached the boys outdoor team to five state titles between 1976 and 1985, and he has won a total of 41 state titles in cross country and indoor and outdoor track.



James Holdren
Maggie L. Walker Governor's School - Richmond, Virginia

Holdren has been coaching cross country and track for 43 years, beginning his career at the College of William and Mary while he was still a cross country runner on the team. The track and field rules interpreter for the state of Virginia, Holdren was named the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year in 1988 and the Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2006, the same year he was inducted into the NHSACA Hall of Fame. Inducted into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame in 1993, Holdren has compiled 1,227 victories at Thomas Jefferson High in Richmond and at the Governor's School, including a 16-year undefeated streak in girls track, and is the state's all-time leading winner in girls cross country and track. He has coached 10 national record holders, 51 All-Americans, and 115 state champions.



Bryan Westfield
Pioneer High School - Ann Arbor, Michigan

Westfield started Pioneer's girls track program in 1979 and has built it into a powerhouse. Under his direction, the Pioneers are trying for their third consecutive Division 1 state title, which would be their 16th overall. His Pioneers have finished first or second in state every year since 1994, have finished in the top three every year since 1984 and have lost just two regular-season meets. He has been selected Coach of the Year 17 times by the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association (MITCA), 15 times in track and twice in cross country - his teams own four state titles in that sport - and he was inducted into the MITCA Hall of Fame in 2006. Westfield was named the National Federation of State High School Associations Coach of the Year in 2002. A Pioneer graduate, he played briefly for the NFL's New York Giants after graduating from Cornell University. The biology teacher also leads the school's gospel choir.



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.



Jim Tate
St. Paul’s Episcopal School - Mobile, Alabama

A Mobile native, Tate came to St. Paul’s in 1978. He has been the boys and girls cross country coach and the boys and girls track and field coach ever since, and he has built a resume that would warrant his selection as National Coach of the Year in any of the four sports. Tate’s teams have won an incredible 56 state team titles – 17 each in girls cross country and track and field, 13 in boys track and field and nine in boys cross country. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was his girls cross country teams that were setting the standard, setting a national high school record with 16 straight state titles from 1983 through 1998. All four programs have built title streaks lasting at least three seasons. Tate’s cross country teams have won both the boys and girls state meets five times, and this year, his track and field teams won both state meets for the 10th time. In the 1984-85, 1991-92 and 1994-95 school years, his teams went a perfect 4-for-4, sweeping both the cross country and track and field state meets in those seasons. Tate was named Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 1999, and he was inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. 



Susan Curnias
William H. Hall High School - West Hartford, Connecticut 

The second NHSCA National Coach of the Year from William H. Hall in as many years, Curnias is the only woman to be named Coach of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) in three sports. She was 78-37 in nine seasons as Hall’s gymnastics coach and was named Coach of the Year in 1980. In 27 years as Hall’s cross country coach, Curnias is 338-97-1, winning a Class L state title in 1987 and Coach of the Year honors in 1988. And Curnias is in her 34th season as Hall’s track and field coach. The 1990 Coach of the Year, her teams won Class L and State Open titles in 1986 and have finished second in state five times, including three straight Class LL runnerup finishes in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and have won 11 Central Connecticut Conference Western Division titles. She also coached swimming for two years at another West Hartford school, Conard High School, with a 14-5 record. Inducted into the CHSCA Hall of Fame in 2005, Curnias was named National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 1992. The NHSACA named her Region Coach of the Year in track and field in 1991 and in cross country in 2004. At the 40th annual Lindy J. Remigino (NHSCA Boys Track and Field National Coach of the Year in 2002) Outdoor Track and Field Invitational next month in New Britain, the women’s 100-meter hurdles has been renamed the Sue Curnias Women's 100m Hurdles in her honor. 



David Turnbull
Summit High School - Bend, Oregon

The school’s only track and field coach since Summit opened its doors in 2001, Turnbull’s boys and girls teams have won seven state team championships in less than a decade. The Storm swept the 5A state titles last season. Now in his 23rd year of coaching, Turnbull led the boys team to its first 4A state title in 2005. His girls teams, after finishing second in 4A in 2006, are the five-time defending 5A state champions, and are heavily favored to win a sixth straight title this spring. A Bend native, Turnbull graduated from cross-town Mountain View High School, and competed at Oregon State University, graduating in 1988. Turnbull was an All Pac-10 competitor, clearing seven feet in the high jump and also competing in the long jump, triple jump and the 4x100 relay. A strict disciplinarian, Turnbull administers random drug tests to his athletes and coaches, and forces parents to run laps for using profane language. Still, nearly 200 student-athletes come out for his boys and girls teams each year. Also a professional musician, Turnbull formed the group "Count Zero” while still a student at Oregon State, and today operates Studio 7 DJ and Recording Services. A six-time Coach of the Year honoree by the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association, Turnbull was named Northwest Region Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 2006. 



June Villers
DeSoto High School - DeSoto, Texas

June Villers, a DeSoto alum, has build the Eagles into one of Texas’ top programs over the last decade. This past year, DeSoto won its third straight Texas Class 5A girls’ title. The state championship was the fourth overall for Villers’ team, including runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2010. During her time as head coach, she’s coached nationally-ranked athletes in the 4X400, long jump, triple jump, discus, shot put, 4X100, 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles and 400m.  



Don Norford
Long Beach Poly, Long Beach, California

Don Norford, who has been the head track and field coach at Long Beach Poly since 1976, went into retirement as a champion.  Norford finished his coaching career leading the Poly Lady Jackrabbits to the school’s 14th California state title overall, and sixth in the last seven years.  Norford, who also coached the boys, won five overall boys’ CIF championships, giving him 19 overall California state championships.  Norford has also been an assistant coach of the powerful Long Beach Poly football team where he coached 45 former and current NFL players.



Jim Ciccarello
La Cueva High School, Albuquerque, New Mexico

For 45 years, Jim Ciccarello has been coaching the track & field teams in New Mexico. During his thirty-nine years as a high school coach, he has coached more than 200 individual New Mexico State Champions. His teams have combined for eight New Mexico Team Titles.  Ciccarello has eight second place finishes, four third place finishes, and his teams have won twenty-four district championships.  Coach Ciccarello has been named Coach of the Year ten times in New Mexico. Ciccarello is the first coach from New Mexico to be named NHSCA National Girls’ Track & Field Coach of the Year.



Carmen Jackson
Northwestern High School, Miami, Florida
This past season, Coach Jackson led the Lady Bulls to a state-record eighth straight state championship. In nearly a quarter-of-century as Northwestern’s coach, Jackson has led the school to eleven track and field state titles.


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.















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