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USATT Presents 2019 Annual Coach of the Year Awards

By USATT | Jan. 21, 2020, 4:08 a.m. (ET)

The 2019 USATT Coach of the Year Awards were decided upon today in accordance with the nomination and voting procedures outline here. Coaches were presented in four of the five overall categories. USA Table Tennis wishes to sincerely congratulate the successful candidates on these prestigious awards and for their coaching services to our sport.

2019 USATT Coach of the Year Award Winners: 

National Coach of the Year:
- Gao Jun and Stefan Feth (jointly awarded)

It was a stellar year for the US National Teams, guided often on the bench by two of the USA's finest coaches.

Gao Jun led the teams to the Quarterfinals in the Women's and Men's at the World Team Cup in Tokyo, held the bench during Lily Zhang's incredible Pan Am Championships run, and guided the Women to qualify for Tokyo 2020. She was also a strong foundation for the team as the Chinese National contingent held training in Los Angeles.

Stefan Feth continued his excellent work with the US Men's Team across the globe. He was in the corner as they won the gold medal in the team event at the Pan American Games in Lima, helped forge victory against Canada to earn qualification to the Tokyo Olympics and took Kanak Jha to a record breaking 4th consecutive victory at the US National Championships.

USATT are extremely fortunate to have the skill and experience of two amazing coaches guiding our teams out on the international stage.

Developmental Coach of the Year:
Wang Qingliang

Coach Wang has been a major force as part of the US National Coach Development Team, contributing as Head Coach for numerous Hopes and Youth National Training Camps across the country. He was Head Coach for the MDTTC Regional Hopes event, the US National Hopes Week and also the North American Hopes Week training camps. He also served as part of the coaching team at the US National Youth Training Camp at ICC. On top of his contributions nationally, he has led top young talents like Stanley Hsu and Mu Du, along with many others, to achieve top results in their age categories.

Volunteer Coach of the Year:
Dr. John Chen

Dr. Chen established a new after-school program in the Blue Valley School District. Personally funding over $10,000 for tournament condition tables and training robots for the program, Dr. Chen also dedicated over 600 hours of his own volunteer time to coaching, growing the program to over 70 students, many of whom are showing great enthusiasm for pursuing the sport of table tennis.

Paralympic Coach of the Year:
Mitch Seidenfeld

The leading coach for standing players across the Para Table Tennis season, bringing home multiple medals at the Para Pan American Games, including being on the bench as Tahl Leibovitz qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games by winning Class 9 Pan Am Gold. He was also the coach for the class 9-10 team of Tahl Leibovitz and Jerry Vasquez which won bronze in the Pan Am Games team event. Mitch's son Ian Seidenfeld went all the way to the final in the Class 6, coming away with silver and has also continued to climb in the world rankings. Mitch's contributions to the US Para team have helped contribute to climbing world rankings and a strong performance in 2019.

Doc Counsilman Coach of the Year:
Not Awarded

Congratulations to the awardees for 2019!