August 20, 1997
Former Olympians, National Team Leaders Highlight USOC Coaches of the Year
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - The U.S. Olympic Committee has announced the 1997 National and Developmental Coaches of the Year for each of the National Governing Bodies for Olympic and Pan American sports. Each of this select company is now eligible for the USOC overall National and Developmental Coach of the Year awards.
Headlining the winners is 1996 USOC Developmental Coach of the Year Jeff Shaffer (diving), nominated this year in the National category. Many former Olympic athletes are among the group, including gold medalists John Williams, archery, 1972; Algis Shaina, biathlon, 1984 (USSR); Dianne Holum, speed skating, 1972; and Lynnette Love, taekwondo, 1988.
Other Olympic veterans include Jerry Dziadkowiec, canoe and kayak, 1972 (Poland); Danny Van Haute, cycling, 1980 and 1984; Karen Shelton, field hockey, 1980 and 1984; Peter Kormann, gymnastics, 1976; jan Bartu, modern pentathlon, 1976; Jan Olesinski, modern pentathlon, 1980 and 1984; Greg Sand, bobsled, 1988; and Jon Owen, luge, 1988.
Several winners have guided teams or individuals at the Olympic Games. Badminton's Jian Liu coached Kevin Han at the 1996 Atlanta Games and Tom Mustin guided boxing gold medalists Ray Seales (1972) and Leo Randolph (1976). In Atlanta, Buckie Leach coached the fencing squad, Chris Carver the gold medal-winning synchronized swimming team and Billie Jean King the double gold medal-winning women's tennis athletes. Hockey assistant Dean Blais and swimming head coach Mark Schubert were members of the 1992 Barcelona delegation. Judo's Jim Pedro, skiing's Jim Tracy (who has helped instruct Tommy Moe, A.J. Kitt, Hillary Lindh and Picabo Street), swimming's Gregg Troy, canoe and kayak's Paul Podgorski and water polo's Stan Sprague all have coached in the Olympics.
Many of the honorees have national Team coaching experience at some level. These include Bob Milano and Bob Olson, baseball; Steve Maiorca, bobsled; Miroslav Zayonc, luge; Fran Davis, racquetball; Pat Wentland, speed skating; Christian Lillieroos, table tennis; Young In Cheon, taekwondo; Matt Haugen, triathlon; John Vargas, water polo; Glen Harris, archery; Mike Niederpruem, cycling; Dottie Zenaty, field hockey; Douglas Williams, skiing; Terry Goodman, water skiing; and John Leone, wrestling.
Other members of the group have coached teams or athletes at various World Championship events, such as Bob Fenson, curling; Frank Carroll, coach of past World Champion figure skaters Linda Fratianne and Michelle Kwan; Megan Faulkner, a member of the staff of current World Champion figure skater Tara Lipinski; Patricia Jacques, roller skating; jack Travers, water skiing; Michael Cohen and Michael Burgener, weightlifting; Andrea Lagan, fencing; and Catherine Yakhimovitch, gymnastics.
Other notables include Thomas Rongen, the 1996 Major League Soccer Coach of the Year and head coach of the New England Revolution; Pat McCarrick, whose Miller Place Badminton Club is in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest winning streak (389 matches); Patrice jankowski, U.S. Biathlon's 1988 "Biathlete of the Year"; Joel Sexton, whose shooters at the Citadel own 267 national collegiate records; and Shannon Wright, the 1996 Youth Soccer Coach of the Year.
The 1997 USOC National and Developmental; Coaches of the Year will be announced September 13 at the annual awards banquet in Indianapolis. Last year's winners were Shaffer in the Developmental category and Tara Van Derveer (basketball) in the National Category.