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Nike Coach of the Year

The Coach of the Year Award was established in 1998 to recognize the outstanding achievements by coaches in our sport.

2016 Tonja Buford-Bailey
  Tonja Buford-Bailey's athletes won three Olympic medals for Team USATF at the Rio Olympics, and University of Texas athletes captured six NCAA titles during the year. Courtney Okolo won gold with the U.S. women's 4x400m relay at Olympic Games and the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland. She also won four NCAA titles in 2016 and broke her own collegiate 400m record outdoors (49.78). Ashley Spencer won bronze in the Olympic 400m hurdles, and Morolake Akinosun won gold with the women's 4x100m relay after anchoring Team USA in the preliminary round. She also won 2016 Big 12 Performer of the Year honors.
2015 Bobby Kersee
  Bobby Kersee guided four of his athletes to the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, while his athletes combined for two Diamond League titles and three World Championships medals in 2015. Most notably, his pupil Allyson Felix was named Jackie Joyner-Kersee Female Athlete of the Year after a season where she won her third Diamond League 200m title and a national title in the 400m, while also capturing gold in the 400m and two silver medals in the relays at the IAAF World Championships. In addition to Felix’s spectacular 2015, Dawn Harper-Nelson captured both the USATF Championship 100m hurdles title and her fourth consecutive IAAF Diamond League crown en route to the third-fastest time in the world in 2015. Jeneba Tarmoh (200m) and Kori Carter (400mH) both finished in the top three at USATF Outdoors and made the World Championships team in 2015, finishing the season near the top of the U.S. and world rankings in their respective events.
2014 Heather Burroughs and Mark Wetmore
  Together, Burroughs and Wetmore coached 2014 USATF Jackie Joyner-Kersee Female Athlete of the Year finalists Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson, with Simpson winning the honor. The duo also coach the University of Colorado track & field and cross country programs, whose men’s team just captured its fourth consecutive Pac-12 Cross Country title and second straight NCAA Championship.
2013 Lawrence Johnson
  Lawrence “Boogie” Johnson was a near-obvious choice for the 2013 Nike Coach of the Year, guiding his standout athletes Brianna Rollins, Queen Harrison and Kristi Castlin to phenomenal 2013 seasons. Under Johnson’s tutelage, Rollins went pro following her hurdle crowns at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships as a junior at Clemson. Rollins had a tremendous 2013, capturing the 2013 USA Outdoor title in the 100H in an American record of 12.26, joining 2008 Olympian and Johnson pupil Queen Harrison on the World Championship team. Harrison made the second World Championship team of her career, finishing just outside medal contention in the 100mH. The 12.43 that put her on the Team USA delegation to Moscow was a personal best for the former Hokie, who switched her focus from the 400mH to the 100mH in recent years. Johnson is also the coach of 2012 USA Indoor 60mH champion and 2013 USA Indoor runner-up Kristi Castlin, who had eight top-three finishes in 2013.
2012 Harry Marra
  The combined events coach for the Nike Oregon Track Club Elite, Marra coached 2012 Jesse Owens Award winner Ashton Eaton to two world records, a World Indoor title and an Olympic gold medal in 2012 – all in just three competitions. Eaton’s 2012 season will mostly be remembered for the world record he set in the decathlon at a rain-soaked Hayward Field at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore. He set world decathlon records in the 100m and long jump in the process before running a personal best in the 1,500m to set the world record of 9,039 points. Eaton then went on to London and claimed Olympic gold. His season also included setting the world record for the third consecutive year in the heptathlon in winning the World Indoor title and winning a USA Indoor championship in the long jump. Marra’s top athletes also include NCAA indoor pentathlon record holder Brianne Theisen, Paul Terek, Sheldon Blockburger, Bart Goodell, Paul Foxon, Brian Brophy and Steve Koel.
2011 Rana Reider
  Reider helped Team USA stand atop the medal count at the IAAF World Championships as his athletes won three individual medals in Daegu, South Korea. Veteran Dwight Phillips won his fourth world title while Christian Taylor won triple jump gold in his first season as a professional. On the track, Danielle Carruthers also won silver in the women’s 100m hurdles.
In 20 years of coaching, Reider has led numerous athletes to success at Florida, Kansas State, Clemson, Life University, California Baptist and Riverside Community College. He was previously awarded the NAIA National Coach of the Year honor in 2000. Notable athletes who train under Reider include Walter Davis, Trevell Quinley and Nichole Denby. Reider has also coached the reigning Olympic decathlon champion and this year’s Visa Humanitarian of the Year Bryan Clay in the jumps.
2010 Brooks Johnson
  After a seven-year #1 World ranking drought in the men's 110m hurdles, America got back on top thanks to Brooks Johnson's continued work with David Oliver. In 2010, Johnson's tutelage led Oliver to win the bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships and claim a 15-race unbeaten streak that saw Oliver first tie, and then break, the American record while winning a national championship and the Diamond League's inaugural title. Oliver became the world's best high hurdler in 2010 by winning nearly everything in sight and posting the five fastest times in the world (and 12 of the top 15 times globally) during the outdoor season, which included his pending American record 12.89 clocking from his win in Paris on July 16.
2009 Alberto Salazar
  Led Galen Rupp, Dathan Ritzenhein and Kara Goucher to career best performances. A three-time New York City Marathon winner and National Track & Field Hall of Famer as an athlete, Salazar in recent years has led The Oregon Project, sponsored by Nike, which is dedicated to providing the means for U.S. distance runners to be successful. In 2009, Rupp was a triple winner at the NCAA Indoor Championships, in the mile, 5,000 and distance medley relay, captured the NCAA 10,000m and 5000m outdoor titles and also won the 10,000 for the first time in his career at the USA Outdoor Championships. Ritzenhein finished sixth in the 10,000m at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, which is the highest finish ever by an American in that event, and his time of 27:22:28 is the best ever by an American in the 10,000m at a World Outdoor Championships. Goucher took third in the women's race at the Boston Marathon in 2 hours 32 minutes 25 seconds, which is the highest finish by an American woman since Kim Jones finished second in 1993. Later that summer, Goucher finished 10th in the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, which was the highest individual finish for an American woman since Linda Somers placed seventh in 1995.
2008 Dwayne Miller
  Coached LaShawn Merritt to two gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Since 1991, Miller has been a coach with the Norfolk Real Deal Track Club. In 2004, Miller was named USOC Developmental Coach of the Year for mentoring hundreds of youth as head coach and co-director of the club. His athletes included 17 national champions and 40 All-Americans... and one LaShawn Merritt. It was '04 that Merritt won three gold medals at the 2004 World Junior Championships, including the 400 meters, and anchored Team USA to world junior records in the 4x100 and 4x400m relays. "It is no secret that behind every great athlete is a great coach," USATF CEO Doug Logan said. "We salute Coach Miller for guiding LaShawn through the pressure-packed Olympic year and claiming the ultimate prize."
2007 James Li
  Guided Bernard Lagat to a history-making performance at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships in Osaka, Japan, and an American record indoors. The Li-Lagat partnership has been one of the most fruitful in track & field. Lagat previously won two Olympic medals, a silver medal at the 2001 World Outdoor Championships and a World Indoor title at 3,000m while being coached by Li but competing for his native Kenya. During his 13 years as a coach at Washington State University, Li coached Lagat to performances that led him to be named the NCAA Division I indoor athlete of the year and Pac-10 athlete of the year in 1999. In 2002, Li became the distance coach and leader of the men's and women's cross country programs at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where Lagat makes his home. "The success that Coach Li and Bernard Lagat have had for more than a decade illustrates the importance of having the right coach guide an athlete throughout his career," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "At the NCAA level and now as an American citizen, Bernard's accomplishments have raised the bar for American distance runners, and he couldn't have done it without Coach Li. USA Track & Field congratulates James, and Bernard, on their historic partnership."
2006 Clyde Hart
  In 2006 Clyde Hart guided two of his athletes to world domination in 400-meter competition and picked up his second career Nike Coach of the Year award. Hart guided Jeremy Wariner and Sanya Richards to undefeated seasons outdoors in the 400 meters in 2006, including an American record for Richards and a sweep of the IAAF Golden League meets for both. Richards' winning run of 48.70 seconds crushed one of the oldest American records on the books, Valerie Brisco's time of 48.83 set at the 1984 Olympic Games. The record capped off a string of 15 consecutive wins for Richards, who ran under 50 seconds nine times, had the five fastest times in the world in 2006 and earned IAAF World Athlete of the Year honors. Wariner three times ran under 44 seconds, becoming only the third man to do so. In running 43.62 seconds at the Rome Golden League meeting on July 14, Wariner posted the fastest 400m time since Michael Johnson's world record in 1999 to become the fourth-fastest performer ever in that event. He also ran 10 of the 12 fastest times in 2006.
2005 Bob Kersee
  During a remarkable career that has spanned nearly three decades, Bob Kersee has earned his reputation as one of the world's premier track and field coaches. The list of all-time greats coached by Kersee includes Gail Devers and National Track & Field Hall of Famers Greg Foster, Valerie Brisco, and his wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee. In 2005, Kersee added to his legacy when 2000 Olympic women's 200m silver medalist Allyson Felix won the gold medal in that event at the World Outdoor Championships in Helsinki, Finland.
2004 Clyde Hart
  Not many coaches have the career coaching accomplishments of Clyde Hart. As the coach at Baylor since 1965, his pupils have won many NCAA titles, All-American honors, and national team slots. But his two brightest stars have won the last three 400-meter gold medals, 1996 and 2000 in the form of Michael Johnson, and 2004 with the meteoric rise of Jeremy Wariner.
2003 Bob Fraley
  It wasn't necessarily Bob's leadership in the nation's pole vaulting community, with his establishment and nurturing of the Pole Vault Summit, which earned Bob this honor -- although that accomplishment could have stood on its own. No, Bob's selfless devotion to his institution by donating back his salary to keep his program was one of the single most selfless acts in the history of his school, Fresno State University, where he is also an alumnus.
2001 Curtis Frye
  Frye and the elite athletes he coaches had an extraordinary 2001. All told, 11 athletes with ties to Frye and South Carolina competed at the World Outdoor Championships. Hurdler Allen Johnson won his third World Championships gold medal, his fourth U.S. Outdoor crown, the Goodwill Games title, and part of the IAAF Golden League jackpot. Fellow hurdler Terrence Trammell won the U.S. and World indoor titles. Monique Hennagan, Demetria Washington, Miki Barber, and Lisa Barber are also coached by Frye.
2000 Dave Nielsen
  The quiet, soft-spoken Nielsen has been behind the scenes, helping Stacy Dragila go from a novice vaulter to USA, world, and Olympic champion. A top-flight vaulter himself at Iowa, and participant in the 1976 Trials, Dave has been the head men's and women's coach at ISU since 1985.
1999 John Smith
  As an athlete, he was a world record-setting competitor at the highest level of his sport. As a coach, he has guided athletes to world records and Olympic and world championship medals, including the triple gold medal performance by Maurice Greene at the 1999 World Championships.
1998 J. J. Clark
  He coached numerous NCAA and USA champions while at Florida, but is perhaps best known as the “family coach,” taking on the trio of sisters Joetta and Hazel, and wife Jearl Miles-Clark.
Sue Humphrey
Although immersed by day in her vocation as a middle school administrator, she has worked with such legendary jumpers as Olympic champion Charles Austin, and guided many others to national and international podiums. She has also been USATF Women's Development chair since 1996.


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