University of North Carolina field hockey coach Karen Shelton is among the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s 2019 coaches of the year.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced its annual award recipients for supporting coaches of the year in 2019, highlighted by three inaugural categories that celebrate the contributions of NCAA coaches, Team USA service providers and coaching educators to American athletes.
BethAnn Chamberlain (Para Nordic skiing) was recognized as Developmental Coach of the Year, Daniel Greene (speedskating) was named Volunteer Coach of the Year and Andrew Stuart (speedskating) was honored with the Doc Counsilman Science Award. Earning recognition in the new coaching award categories were Karen Shelton (field hockey), who was named College Coach of the Year, while Paul Robbins (tennis) was recognized as Service Provider of the Year and Ken Martel (ice hockey) brought home the inaugural Coach Educator of the Year award.
The six honorees join KiSik Lee (archery) and Wesley Johnson (paratriathlon), who were recognized last month as Olympic Coach of the Year and Paralympic Coach of the Year as part of the 2019 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year ceremony in Los Angeles.
“It’s an honor to recognize the indelible impact these coaches have made on athletes and their sport communities,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “Because of their efforts and commitment, athletes of all ages are given the opportunity to thrive, in both sport and in life.”
National Governing Bodies nominated their 2019 coaches of the year as part of the USOPC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. Winners were then determined by a USOPC selection pane
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College Coach of the Year – Karen Shelton
The USOPC College Coach of the Year is presented to a coach at the NCAA level who has worked with their NGB and made an impact on their sport. Shelton has served as the head coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1981. In her tenure, she has built one of the country's finest field hockey programs and is the first female coach at UNC to have a stadium named in her honor. She has led UNC to national prominence highlighted by eight NCAA championships, 24 final four appearances, 22 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and 37 winning seasons. The 2019 season was one of the best in program history in which the Tar Heels went undefeated, 23-0, for the second straight year and claimed the program’s eighth national title. She owns a career record of 692-164-9 and ranks second in NCAA history in both wins and championship titles.
Service Provider of the Year – Paul Robbins
The USOPC Service Provider of the Year is presented to a Team USA specialist in the areas of nutrition, physiology, psychology, sports medicine, and strength and conditioning who has made a significant impact on American athletes and USOPC member organizations. Robbins played an instrumental role in implementing and validating the fatigue index as part of the United States Tennis Association’s larger collaboration with IBM. He has educated coaches and provided guidance how the they should be adjusting athletes’ practice schedules and recovery based on this fatigue index. Additionally, he is assisting USTA in selecting wearable technology providers and continues to guide best-in-class athlete management systems as the USTA explores new platforms.
Coach Educator of the Year – Ken Martel
The USOPC Coach Educator of the Year is presented to a Team USA mentor who has furthered athletes and sport by promoting the ideals of the American Development Model. Under Martel’s direction, USA Hockey originated the ADM program in 2009. In 2019, USA Hockey saw the largest number of American-born and ADM-trained players selected in the first round of the NHL draft, exemplifying the vast impact of ADM. His efforts to promote collaboration between the USOPC, NGBs and other sport organizations has helped grow ADM across the country, benefiting athletes of all ages, skills and abilities and changing the American sport experience for the better
Developmental Coach of the Year – BethAnn Chamberlain
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. Chamberlain has been pivotal to the high-performance success of the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Ski Team, mentoring two current national team members – including two-time Paralympic gold medalist Kendall Gretsch. During the 2018-19 season, she was tasked with identifying young skiers in the standing and visually impaired classifications, prompting a nationwide strategy to recruit and develop new skiers. Through outreach to and collaboration with Shriners Hospital for Children, local ski clubs and adaptive sport organizations, she is responsible for the introduction of 250 beginners to the sport – including 110 children. She worked with 40 clubs to host events and provided coaching support to dozens of new coaches and guides. Her efforts led to an unprecedented number of standing and visually impaired athletes – exceeding more than the previous quad – with great potential for the future.
Volunteer Coach of the Year – Daniel Greene
The Volunteer Coach of the Year is presented to a coach who does not receive payment in any form for their involvement in coaching at any level. A volunteer coach at the Madison Speedskating Club, Greene has demonstrated commitment and passion for speedskating that has elevated both his athletes and club to the next level. After enduring a stroke in 2018, Greene became a certified US Speedskating coach in less than six months. He teaches athletes how to build tailored roadmaps for success and goes beyond to make speedskating accessible by donating equipment to help skaters achieve their goals. Last year, Greene’s club saw seven skaters compete in their first meet, 10 compete at regional competitions and eight qualify for the age-class short track national championships. He strives to provide resources to up-and-coming clubs to help build and sustain the sport in the Midwest and across the U.S.
Doc Counsilman Science Award – Andrew Stuart
The Doc Counsilman Science Award recognizes a coach who utilizes scientific techniques and equipment as an integral part of their coaching methods or has created innovative ways to use sport science. Stuart utilized the Dynamic Strength Index to better understand a speedskater’s ability and form in slow versus fast applications. He used data to obtain an index number with the aim of improving an athlete’s overall rate of force development – a key marker of success for speedskaters. As a result of program modification driven by the DSI, US Speedskating has witnessed several significantly improved on-ice performances. Stuart’s usage of DSI has changed the way US Speedskating evaluates strength and power, and the program anticipates continued improvement from the ground-breaking methodology.
For a comprehensive list of previous USOPC Coach of the Year Award recipients, visit TeamUSA.org.