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U.S. Olympic Committee: Flora 2013 Coach of the Year

The U.S. Olympic Committee has selected Alaska Pacific University Head Coach, Erik Flora, as the 2013 Coach of the Year. Flora has received several awards in the past, including the 2007-2008 USSA Domestic Development Coach award and the 2008-2009 USSA International Coach award. Flora is coach to to many successful APU athletes including U.S. Ski Team member Kikkan Randall, the first female World Cup gold medalist and the first female World Championship silver medalist in the history of U.S. cross country skiing.

(Press Release)

U.S. Olympic Committee Announces 2013 Coaches of the Year


July 2, 2014

U.S. Olympic Committee announces 2013 Coaches of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced its annual award recipients for 2013 national coaches of the year. On the Olympic side, Erik Flora (cross-country skiing; Anchorage, Alaska) was recognized as National Coach of the Year, while Adam Bleakney (Paralympic track & field; Champaign, Illinois) took home Paralympic National Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, Kathleen Johnston (triathlon; Nashville, Tennessee) was named Developmental Coach of the Year, Bienvenido “Benny” Roman (boxing; Brooklyn, New York) was selected Volunteer Coach of the Year and Gordon Uehling III (tennis; Alpine, New Jersey) took home the Doc Councilman Science Award.

“It’s an honor to recognize these coaches for their impact on countless athletes around the country,” said Alan Ashley, USOC chief of sport performance. “Their tireless efforts and dedication to helping athletes strive for excellence is an inspiration to all.”

National Governing Bodies selected their 2013 Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. Three national finalists in each category were selected by a panel of coaching and sport education professionals.

National Coach of the Year – Erik Flora

As head coach of the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club, Flora directed four cross-country athletes from the 13-member U.S. team that competed at the 2013 World Championships, including 2013 team sprint world champion Kikkan Randall. The win marked the first world championship gold medal in cross-country skiing for the U.S., and the first medal of any color in a team event. Under Flora’s guidance, Randall and Holly Brooks also led the U.S. women’s team to its first relay podium finish in world cup history, and Randall became the first American woman to finish in the top-three of the overall FIS Cross-Country World Cup standings. Flora also aided other top U.S. skiers to breakthrough results in 2013, including Sadie Bjorsen, Erik Bjornsen and overall SuperTour champion Rosie Brennan. For his success, he was recognized as the 2013 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Coach of the Year and the 2013 USSA International Cross-Country Coach of the Year.


Aimee Boorman – Gymnastics

Adam Soldati – Diving

Paralympic National Coach of the Year – Adam Bleakney

A four-time Paralympian, Bleakney helped U.S. athletes earn 13 medals at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee World Athletics Championships in Lyon, France. As head coach for the University of Illinois wheelchair track & field program, Bleakney played a key role in developing world champions Tatyana McFadden and Raymond Martin. At the 2013 World Championships, McFadden led the U.S. medal haul with a historic six gold medals, while Martin – the 2013 USOC Paralympic SportsMan of the Year – became the first man to win five world titles. Overall, Bleakney coached nine athletes on the U.S. world team, including men’s 800-meter champion Josh George and women’s 200 bronze medalist Chelsea McClammer. Following the world championships, Bleakney aided McFadden in becoming the first to win the marathon grand slam with victories at 2013 London, Boston, Chicago and New York City marathons.


Angie Bengtsson – Table Tennis

Brett Wolf – Judo

Developmental Coach of the Year – Kathleen Johnston

Johnston led the Southeast Junior High Performance Triathlon Team to the 2013 USA Triathlon Developmental Team Championship title. Under her guidance, three athletes earned top-three finishes at the 2013 USAT Junior Elite National Championship, and two athletes finished in the top three of the 2013 USAT Junior Elite rankings. Johnston was named the U.S. head coach for the 2013 Pan American Triathlon Confederation Junior Championships and International Triathlon Union Junior Elite World Championships, as well as co-head coach for the USAT Junior Elite Women’s Camp. As the southeast regional athlete development coordinator for USAT, she also held clinics for coaches and parents in the Nashville area, launched the Southeast Junior Elite program and directed the Tennessee chapter of Team in Training.


Sue Phillips – Basketball

Jim White – Archery

Volunteer Coach of the Year – Bienvenido “Benny” Roman

After being selected by USA Boxing to serve as a training camp coach, Roman joined the coaching staff for the 2013 Continental Championships, women’s junior and youth world championships and the 2013 SportAccord World Combat Games, in which he aided American athletes to 26 medals (12 golds, five silvers, nine bronzes). In addition to his coaching role at the Atlas Cops N’ Kids gym in Brooklyn, New York, Roman aided Christina Cruz to a national title and Edgar Berlanga to silver medals at the 2013 Junior World Team Open and 2013 Junior National Championships


David Lee Moneypenny – Speedskating

Landon Powell – Baseball

National Doc Counsilman Science Award – Gordon Uehling III

Uehling was invited to speak at the 2013 International Tennis Federation World Coaching Conference in Cancun, Mexico, to present his advancements in balance control and slip-step technology. Using video analysis and CourtSense TV, Uehling trained more than 500 junior athletes each week at the CourtSense tennis school in New Jersey. The technology helped players improve their technique by using split-step light coupled with neuro- and biofeedback. His work was featured in the August 2013 issue of Men’s Journal and on the Tennis Channel, which highlighted his mentorship of Olympian Christine McHale. He is currently working with the U.S. Tennis Association to create a pilot program for PlaySight, a revolutionary technology that would allow coaches and players to make line calls.


Shane Domer – Speedskating

Larry Hodges – Table Tennis

All-Time USOC Coach of the Year Award Recipients

National Coach of the Year

The National Coach of the Year is presented to a coach of an elite-level club, collegiate or national-level team, or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level of his/her sport.

1996 Tara VanDerveer, U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Coach

1997 Frank Carroll, Olympic figure skating coach of Michelle Kwan

1998 Ben Smith, U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey coach

1999 Chris Carmichael, Cycling Coach of Lance Armstrong

2000 Richard Quick, U.S. Olympic Women’s Swimming Team coach

2001-02 Pete del’Giudice, U.S. Snowboarding coach

2003 Lloyd Woodhouse, USA Shooting National Team coach

2004 Mike Candrea, U.S. Softball Women’s National Team coach

2005 Eddie Reese, U.S. Men’s National Swimming Team coach

2006 Bud Keene, U.S. Snowboarding coach

2007 Guy Baker, U.S. National Water Polo Team coach

2008 Hugh McCutcheon, U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team coach

2009 Bob Bradley, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team coach

2010 Brian Shimer, U.S. men’s bobsled head coach

2011 Rick Bower, U.S. Halfpipe Snowboarding Team coach

2012 Adam Krikorian, U.S. Women’s National Water Polo Team coach

2013 Erik Flora, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club head coach

Paralympic National Coach of the Year

The Paralympic National Coach of the Year is presented to a coach of an elite-level club, collegiate or national-level team, or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level of his/her sport.

2004 Mike Hulett, USA Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team coach

2005 Randi Smith, U.S. Paralympic Archery Team Head coach

2006 Julie O’Neill, U.S. Paralympic Swim Team head coach

2007 Adam Bleakney, U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Track coach

2008 Ken Armbruster, U.S. Paralympic Women’s Goalball head coach

2009 Scott Moore, Denver Judo coach

2010 Ray Watkins, 2010 U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team coach

2011 Dave Denniston, U.S. Paralympic Swimming head coach

2012 Tom Franke, U.S. Paralympic Swimming head coach

2013 Adam Bleakney, U.S. Paralympic Track & Field coach

Developmental Coach of the Year

The Developmental Coach of the Year is presented to a coach at the youth club, high school or junior level, or a coach who is directly responsible for training athletes to reach the junior and/or elite level.

1996 Jeff Shaffer, University of Southern California

1997 Dianne Holum, Speedskating

1998 Mike Stafford, Millvale Golden Gloves Gym (Cincinnati)

1999 Tom Healy, Northbrook (Ill.) Speedskating Club

2000 Fred Zimny, Luge (Lake Placid, N.Y.)

2001-02 Mike Eaves, U.S. National Under-18 Hockey Team

2003 Bob Fraley, Fresno State (Calif.) University Track & Field

2004 Dwayne Miller, Norfolk (Va.) Real Deal Track Club

2005 Tammy Gambill, U.S. Figure Skating

2006 Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson, U.S. Figure Skating

2007 Paul Yetter, USA Swimming

2008 Rajul Sheth, Table Tennis (Milpitas, Calif.)

2009 John Wingfield, Director and Head Coach of USA Diving National Training Center

2010 Michael Nyitray, United States Bowling Congress (Miami, Fla.)

2011 James Hrbek, USA Judo

2012 Michael Nyitray, United States Bowling Congress (Miami, Fla.)

2013 Kathleen Johnston, USA Triathlon

Volunteer Coach of the Year

The Volunteer Coach of the Year is presented to a coach who does not receive payment in any form for his/her involvement in coaching at any level.

2003 Carol Hardemon, Metro Dade (Fla.) Track Club

2004 Barry Hunter, Washington, D.C. Boxing coach

2005 Cindi Hart, IndySpeed Sport Club head coach (speedskating)

2006 Booker Woods, LA JETS head coach (track & field)

2007 Sherman Nelson, USA Taekwondo coach

2008 Rita Gladstone, Area Tennis League coordinator (Volusia County, Fla.)

2009 Brian McCutcheon, Oahu Taekwondo Center instructor

2010 Dave Farmer, Aurora (Colo.) Saracens Rugby Club coach

2011 Tom Waga, Brigham Young University Rugby coach

2012 Don Showalter, USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team coach

2013 Bienvenido “Benny” Roman, USA Boxing Training Camp coach

Doc Counsilman Science Award

The Doc Counsilman Science Award recognizes a coach who utilizes scientific techniques and equipment as an integral part of his/her coaching methods or has created innovative ways to use sport science.

2004 Joe Vigil, USA Track & Field

2005 Dr. Kyle Pierce, USA Weightlifting

2006 Kate Arbour, U.S. Figure Skating

2007 Sean O’Neill, U.S. Paralympics Table Tennis

2008 Dave Bennett, USA Wrestling

2009 Heidi Thibert, U.S. Figure Skating and Edora Pool and Ice Center coach

2010 Dr. Grant Schaffner, U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation

2011 Neal Henderson, USA Cycling

2012 Doug Eng, U.S. Tennis Association

2013 Gordon Uehling III, U.S. Tennis Association



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