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U.S. Olympic Committee Announces 2014 Coaches Of The Year

By United States Olympic Committee | July 30, 2015, 2 p.m. (ET)

Devin Logan (R) and coach Skogen Sprang visit the USA House in the Olympic Village at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Feb. 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced its annual award recipients for 2014 national coaches of the year. On the Olympic side, Skogen Sprang (freestyle skiing; Olympic Valley, Calif.) was recognized as National Coach of the Year, while Brian Loeffler (Paralympic swimming; Baltimore, Md.) took home Paralympic National Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, George Ryals (archery; Monroe, Ga.) was named Developmental Coach of the Year, Kathleen Stevenson (archery; Nichols Hills, Okla.) was selected Volunteer Coach of the Year and Dave Hamilton (field hockey; Lancaster, Pa.) took home the Doc Councilman Science Award.   

“We are honored to recognize this distinguished group of coaches, who have dedicated their lives to helping American athletes realize their full potential and achieve excellence, both on and off the field of play,” said Alan Ashley, USOC chief of sport performance. “Team USA is stronger because of their positive influence and tireless commitment to our athletes, and we are proud to honor them as our coaches of the year.”

National Governing Bodies selected their 2014 Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. Three national finalists in each category were selected by a panel of coaching and sport education professionals.

National Coach of the Year – Skogen Sprang, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association

In his second season as the U.S. slopestyle skiing head coach, Sprang led Team USA in capturing four Olympic medals at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, highlighted by a historic sweep of the men’s podium – only the third by a U.S. team in Olympic Winter Games history. Under Sprang’s direction the men’s team of Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper, and women’s slopestyle skier Devin Logan combined to earn four of Team USA’s nine medals in the new Olympic events to debut in Sochi. For his success, he was recognized as the 2014 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Freeskiing International Coach of the Year.

Tuffy Latour – Bobsled

Geno Auriemma – Basketball

Paralympic National Coach of the Year – Brian Loeffler, U.S. Paralympic Swimming

In 2014, Loeffler guided four athletes to set one world and 10 American records. He has played a key role in developing Paralympic champions Brad Snyder and Cortney Jordan. At the 2014 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships, Synder and Jordan won a combined 14 medals, including 10 golds. He also served as an assistant coach at the Pan Pacific championships, helping Team USA top the medal standings with 115 medals, including 34 golds. Loeffler also served as the head coach for Team USA at the 2014 Croatian Open and is the head swim coach for Loyola University in Maryland.

Ryan Reser – Judo

Paul Walker – Tennis

Developmental Coach of the Year – George Ryals, USA Archery

Ryals guided archers of all skill levels to success on state, regional, national and world championship stages in 2014. Under his mentorship, the U.S. men’s junior compound team took the gold medal at the 2014 World Indoor Championships in Nimes, France, and athletes earned more than 35 top-three finishes in national competition. After 15 years of competing professionally, Ryals opened the Archery Learning Center, where he leverages his deep knowledge and experience in the sport to teach and inspire archers at the local, national and international level. Ryals previously worked as a product designer for Martin Archery and Copper John, and many of his designs are still in use today.

Mark Shaw – Water Skiing

Frank Kelble – Alpine Skiing

Volunteer Coach of the Year – Kathleen Stevenson, USA Archery

Stevenson, co-establisher of the Oklahoma Storm Junior Olympic Archery Development program and professional archer, is dedicated to helping young archers achieve success in regional and national USA Archery competitions. Under her tutelage, Brogan Williams set a world record and led the 2014 World Indoor Championship junior women’s compound team to a silver medal. Stevenson also works with several community organizations – including the Boy Scouts of America – to organize events and foster interest in archery. 

Eugene Byrne – Bobsled

Ron Halcrow - Speedskating

National Doc Counsilman Science Award – Dave Hamilton, USA Field Hockey

As director of performance science for the U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team, Hamilton develops fully integrated physical performance programs that position the team for long-term success. His specialized training programs and analysis of individual athlete performance during practice, using the Catapult GPS, allow the coaching staff to track speed, power and force, among other statistics, in real time, and customize workouts to help athletes reach their maximum potential. Renowned nationwide for his innovation, Hamilton has been published and invited to speak at conferences and seminars about his findings and experience.

Mark Kovacs – Tennis

Melissa Vriner – Figure Skating

All-Time USOC Coach of the Year Award Recipients

National Coach of the Year

The National Coach of the Year is presented to a coach of an elite-level club, collegiate or national-level team, or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level of his/her sport.

1996          Tara VanDerveer, U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Coach

1997          Frank Carroll, Olympic figure skating coach of Michelle Kwan

1998          Ben Smith, U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey coach

1999          Chris Carmichael, Cycling Coach of Lance Armstrong

2000          Richard Quick, U.S. Olympic Women’s Swimming Team coach

2001-02     Pete del’Giudice, U.S. Snowboarding coach

2003          Lloyd Woodhouse, USA Shooting National Team coach

2004          Mike Candrea, U.S. Softball Women’s National Team coach

2005          Eddie Reese, U.S. Men’s National Swimming Team coach

2006          Bud Keene, U.S. Snowboarding coach

2007          Guy Baker, U.S. National Water Polo Team coach

2008          Hugh McCutcheon, U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team coach

2009          Bob Bradley, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team coach

2010          Brian Shimer, U.S. men’s bobsled head coach
2011          Rick Bower, U.S. Halfpipe Snowboarding Team coach

2012          Adam Krikorian, U.S. Women’s National Water Polo Team coach

2013          Erik Flora, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club head coach

2014          Skogen Sprang, U.S. Slopestyle Skiing Team head coach


Paralympic National Coach of the Year

The Paralympic National Coach of the Year is presented to a coach of an elite-level club, collegiate or national-level team, or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level of his/her sport.

2004          Mike Hulett, USA Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team coach

2005          Randi Smith, U.S. Paralympic Archery Team Head coach

2006          Julie O’Neill, U.S. Paralympic Swim Team head coach

2007          Adam Bleakney, U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Track coach

2008          Ken Armbruster, U.S. Paralympic Women’s Goalball head coach

2009          Scott Moore, Denver Judo coach

2010          Ray Watkins, 2010 U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team       coach

2011          Dave Denniston, U.S. Paralympic Swimming head coach

2012          Tom Franke, U.S. Paralympic Swimming head coach

2013          Adam Bleakney, U.S. Paralympic Track & Field coach

2014          Brian Loeffler, Swimming, U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team coach


Developmental Coach of the Year

The Developmental Coach of the Year is presented to a coach at the youth club, high school or junior level, or a coach who is directly responsible for training athletes to reach the junior and/or elite level.

1996          Jeff Shaffer, University of Southern California

1997          Dianne Holum, Speedskating

1998          Mike Stafford, Millvale Golden Gloves Gym (Cincinnati)

1999          Tom Healy, Northbrook (Ill.) Speedskating Club

2000          Fred Zimny, Luge (Lake Placid, N.Y.)

2001-02     Mike Eaves, U.S. National Under-18 Hockey Team

2003          Bob Fraley, Fresno State (Calif.) University Track & Field

2004          Dwayne Miller, Norfolk (Va.) Real Deal Track Club

2005          Tammy Gambill, U.S. Figure Skating

2006          Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson, U.S. Figure Skating

2007          Paul Yetter, USA Swimming

2008          Rajul Sheth, Table Tennis (Milpitas, Calif.)

2009          John Wingfield, Director and Head Coach of USA Diving National Training Center

2010          Michael Nyitray, United States Bowling Congress (Miami, Fla.)

2011          James Hrbek, USA Judo

2012          Michael Nyitray, United States Bowling Congress (Miami, Fla.)

2013          Kathleen Johnston, USA Triathlon

2014          George Ryals, Archery Learning Center (Snellville, Ga.)

Volunteer Coach of the Year

The Volunteer Coach of the Year is presented to a coach who does not receive payment in any form for his/her involvement in coaching at any level.

2003          Carol Hardemon, Metro Dade (Fla.) Track Club

2004          Barry Hunter, Washington, D.C. Boxing coach

2005          Cindi Hart, IndySpeed Sport Club head coach (speedskating)

2006          Booker Woods, LA JETS head coach (track & field)

2007          Sherman Nelson, USA Taekwondo coach

2008          Rita Gladstone, Area Tennis League coordinator (Volusia County, Fla.)

2009          Brian McCutcheon, Oahu Taekwondo Center instructor

2010          Dave Farmer, Aurora (Colo.) Saracens Rugby Club coach

2011          Tom Waga, Brigham Young University Rugby coach

2012          Don Showalter, USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team coach

2013          Bienvenido “Benny” Roman, USA Boxing Training Camp coach

2014          Kathleen Stevenson, Oklahoma Storm Junior Olympic Archer Development Team coach (Oklahoma City, Okla.)

Doc Counsilman Science Award

The Doc Counsilman Science Award recognizes a coach who utilizes scientific techniques and equipment as an integral part of his/her coaching methods or has created innovative ways to use sport science.

2004          Joe Vigil, USA Track & Field

2005          Dr. Kyle Pierce, USA Weightlifting

2006          Kate Arbour, U.S. Figure Skating

2007          Sean O’Neill, U.S. Paralympics Table Tennis

2008          Dave Bennett, USA Wrestling

2009          Heidi Thibert, U.S. Figure Skating and Edora Pool and Ice Center coach

2010          Dr. Grant Schaffner, U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation

2011          Neal Henderson, USA Cycling

2012          Doug Eng, U.S. Tennis Association

2013          Gordon Uehling III, U.S. Tennis Association

2014          Dave Hamilton, U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team director of performance science