INDIANAPOLIS— Twenty-one high school coaches from across the country, including one from North Carolina, have been selected as 2013 National Coaches of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
David Gentry, long-time head football coach at Murphy High School, was named the recipient of the national award in football. He has coached for 42 years, 30 at Murphy, and his teams have won six NCHSAA state championships. He has earned 344 career victories, putting him in the top five all-time for NCHSAA football coaches.
The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in one “other” sport that is not included in the top 10 listings. The NFHS also recognizes a Spirit coach as a separate award category. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2012-13 school year.
The NFHS has a contact person in each state who is responsible for selecting deserving coach award recipients. This contact person often works with the state coaches’ association in his or her respective state. He or she contacts the potential state award recipients to complete a coach profile form that requests information regarding the coach’s record, membership in and affiliation with coaching and other professional organizations, involvement with other school and community activities and programs, and coaching philosophy.
To be approved as an award recipient and considered for sectional and national coach of the year consideration, this profile form must be completed by the coach or designee and then approved by the executive director (or designee) of the state athletic/activities association.
The next award level after state coach of the year is sectional coach of the year. The NFHS is divided into eight geographical sections, with North Carolina in Section 3 along with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The NFHS Coaches Association has an advisory committee, composed of a chair and eight sectional representatives. The sectional committee representatives evaluate the state award recipients from the states in their respective sections and select the best candidates for the sectional award in each sport category. The NFHS Coaches Association Advisory Committee then considers the sectional candidates in each sport, ranks them according to a point system, and determines a national winner for each of the 20 sport categories, the spirit category and one “other” category.
A total of 515 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.