Host Jordan Burroughs, 2012 U.S. Olympic wrestling champion, interviews Wesley Johnson at the 2019 Team USA Awards Presented by Dow.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced the winners for the 2019 Team USA Awards Presented by Dow, Best of the Year, recognizing the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes, teams and coaches. USA Triathlon’s Wesley Johnson (Sandy, Utah) was named Paralympic Coach of the Year for his outstanding achievements coaching U.S. elite paratriathletes to international success in 2019.
Johnson was honored during a live recording of the Team USA Awards Presented by Dow, Best of the Year ceremony, held Tuesday night at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. The awards show, hosted by Olympic wrestling champion Jordan Burroughs, will be televised from 2-3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 22, on NBC.
“Receiving this award is an incredible honor. Honestly, I’m still processing it all,” Johnson said. “I still feel like I’m just getting started. I still feel like I have so much to learn. There are so many incredible coaches in the Paralympic movement who I know and respect who would deserve this award. Thank you to all of the athletes who put their trust in me and for USA Triathlon for the opportunities they have given me.”
“Wesley is incredibly deserving of this honor, after a standout season in which he guided several U.S. elite paratriathletes to breakout performances on the world stage,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “Beyond his 2019 achievements, Wesley sets an example for multisport coaches across the country day in and day out. His work ethic and individualized dedication to his athletes makes Wesley a truly world-class coach, and I know his work will continue to pay dividends as we head into the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic year.”
Johnson served as an assistant coach for the U.S. team at the 2019 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. In that role, he guided Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill., PTWC), Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz., PTS2) and Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas, PTS4) to silver medals, and five additional U.S. elite paratriathletes to top-five finishes.
Johnson also coached the U.S. team at the ITU World Paratriathlon Series event in Yokohama, Japan, where American athletes earned three gold medals, two silvers and one bronze. Additionally, he is the personal coach of Grace Norman (Cedarville, Ohio, PTS5) and Chris Hammer (Salt Lake City, Utah, PTS5), who each ended their seasons ranked No. 3 in the world, and Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Md., PTVI), who finished the season ranked No. 8 in the world in just his second year as an elite paratriathlete.
Johnson leads a squad of elite, junior elite and paratriathlon elite athletes as the founder and head coach of Balanced Art Multisport in Salt Lake City. He is a USA Triathlon Level II, Youth & Junior and Paratriathlon certified coach.
For coaching awards, U.S. National Governing Bodies selected their nominees as part of the USOPC’s annual coach of the year recognition program, and the winners were determined by a USOPC selection panel of coaching and sport performance professionals.
In addition to Johnson, USA Triathlon was also represented at the Team USA Awards by Seely and Gretsch, who were both named finalists for Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year after strong seasons in which they each claimed silver medals at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships.
For more information on the Team USA Awards, including the full list of 2019 finalists, visit TeamUSA.org.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).