The United States Coach of the Year

For some people entrusted with such things, a Coach of the Year citation is often an honorarium given perfunctorily to a team with the best record within the voting body's purvey., however, thinks a little differently. The award should be given to a coach who is able to make a marked difference in the way a team plays throughout a particular season. The coaching performance is not limited to progress made in the year which the award is given.

A coach who wins the award should bring a team to, and beyond, even its own expectations. But what is more important, we think, is the process to which the team finds its success, rather than the sheer matter of finding it. The following men and women have been not only coaches, but developers and refiners of talent within their programs:

Year Coach School State Notes
1993 Pat Toner Newtown Council Rock PA Won first of three District titles and gained AAA final
1994 Mike Shern Lacey NJ Beat "invincible" West Essex team to win Group III title
1995 Nancy Fowlkes Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox VA Won seventh straight state title
1996 Tracey Paul Escondido San Pasqual CA Transformed Cali hockey with sectional-winning effort
1997 Maryellen Clemencich Allentown NJ Perennial also-rans won Shore Conference and Group II title
1998 Diane Chapman Garden City NY Shut out all opposition in a perfect season

Brenda Beckwith Winslow ME Won all games by shutout
1999 Amy Wood Bethesda-Chevy Chase MD Overcame distraction of losing home field and good senior class
2000 Eileen Allan Pompton Lakes NJ Good little team won second straight title
2001 Amanda Janney Ft. Worth Trinity Valley TX Showed value of Texas hockey through outside competition
2002 Slade Gormus Midlothian James River VA Wrested state title away from Virginia Beach monopoly
2003 Kearney Francis Silver Spring Springbrook MD In four years, took program from depths to first state title
2004 Monica Dennis Grosse Pointe South MI Won state title in first year as a funded varsity program
2005 Robin Woodie Stafford VA In 3 days, beat 3 teams with 14 of the last 16 VHSL crowns
2006 Barb Dwyer Ladue Horton Watkins MO Won 19 games and had historic postseason run
2007 Wendy Reichenbach Palmyra PA Team won seven straight postseason games after player's death
2008 Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell Pewaukee Trinity Academy WI First-year varsity program with 22 female students wins state final
Danyle Heilig Voorhees Eastern NJ
Dominant program finished a decade of dominance
Sarah Catlin
Cincinnati Saint Ursula
Became first Cincinnati team to win OHSAA state title
Lil Shelton Severna Park
Won 20th state title in her final year as head coach
Ashly Fishell-Shaffer
Edgemere Sparrows Point
Blue-collar team overcame obtacles in historic postseason run
Jim Larkin Fredericksburg Chancellor
Team became a symbol of hope for small-school Va. programs
Eileen Donahue Watertown
Won sixth straight state title without yielding a goal