Coach of the Year Finalists
Oklahoma City, Okla. --- The United States Olympic Committee announced today the finalists for its National, Developmental and Volunteer Coach of the Year honors and the "Doc" Counsilman Science Award. USA Softball’s Mike Candrea (Casa Grande, Ariz.) was listed among the top five finalists for national teams after leading the Red, White and Blue to a perfect 9-0 gold medal performance in Athens, Greece.
April Heinrichs (Gainesville, Va./U.S. Soccer), Yevgeny Marchenko (Plano, Texas/ USA Gymnastics), Eddie Reese (Austin, Texas/USA Swimming) and Dane Selznick (El Segundo, Calif./USA Volleyball) complete the list of five finalists.
The awards will be presented on May 1 during the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Banquet at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Candrea, head coach at the University of Arizona, led the 2004 USA Softball Women's National Team to its third consecutive Olympic gold medal with a 9-0 run in Athens, Greece. Outscoring opponents 51-1, the U.S. broke 18 records during the Olympic competition. Prior to the Games, Candrea's team was undefeated as it traveled the USA on its 53-game “Aiming for Athens” tour.
This marks Candrea’s second selection as a top five finalist as he was nominated in 2004 for his 2003 accomplishments.
Forty-three Olympic and Pan American sports organizations selected their 2004 National, Developmental and/or Volunteer Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. The five finalists in the National and Developmental categories, plus the winner of the USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year title and the Counsilman Science Award recipient, will be honored April 30-May 1 during events at the Home Depot Center.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 88 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit www.asasoftball.com
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture back-to-back gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won seven World Championship titles including the last five consecutive.