NFHS Announces 2021-22 National Coach of the Year Winners
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 two “other” sports – one for boys and one for girls – that are 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 2021-22 school year.Recipients of the 2021-22 national awards for boys sports are: Billy Bowen, baseball, Durant (Oklahoma) Silo High School; Greg Haagsma, basketball, Chandler (Arizona) Valley Christian High School; Rickey Baker, cross country, Keams Canyon (Arizona) Hopi High School; Greg Grant, 11-player football, Heppner (Oregon) High School; Brendan Patch, golf, Huntington Beach (California) Edison High School; Michael Hagerty, soccer, Yarmouth (Maine) High School; Richard Blanc, swimming and diving, Rancho Santa Margarita (California) Santa Margarita Catholic High School; Josh Munro, tennis, Kalispell (Montana) Glacier High School; Benny Mitchell, track and field, Taos (New Mexico) High School; and Jeffrey Matczak, wrestling, Kaukauna (Wisconsin) High School.
The recipients of the 2021-22 NFHS national awards for girls sports are: Mary Klinger, basketball, Somerset (New Jersey) Rutgers Preparatory School; Jill Evers, cross country, Kent City (Michigan) High School; Frank Gallant, golf, Springfield (Missouri) Catholic High School; Tim Godby, lacrosse, Milton (Georgia) High School; William Pfeifer Jr., soccer, Moon Township (Pennsylvania) Moon Area High School; Mark Watt, softball, Lincoln (Nebraska) Southwest High School; Michael Rose, swimming and diving, Brookfield (Wisconsin) East High School; Kirsten Ruchaber, tennis, Portland (Oregon) Jesuit High School; Sue Hysong, track and field, Avondale (Arizona) Westview High School; and Iona Stookey, volleyball, Worden (Montana) Huntley Project High School.
The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Debbie Kishpaugh of Pendleton (Oregon) High School. Dan Shine, an ice hockey coach at Arlington (Massachusetts) Catholic High School, was chosen in the “other” category for boys sports, and Terri Simonetti-Frost, a field hockey coach at Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio, was chosen in the “other” category for girls sports.
The NFHS receives nominations from its member state associations, which often works with the state coaches’ association in its respective state. The state association then 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.
A total of 870 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional, and national awards.
To read the biographical sketches of the 23 NFHS National High School Coaches of the Year for 2021-22, click here.