Complete dedication to their teams and communities. The ability to motivate and support their athletes during challenging situations. An unwavering Run Happy spirit. After reviewing more than 1,300 nominations for high school track and/or cross country coaches who inspire their athletes every day, Brooks Sports, Inc. today announced this year's top 25 and will share each coach's unique, poignant story with the running community so they can help select the 2012 Inspiring Coach of the Year.
"Running at the high school level can be a very powerful experience. These young athletes have many options for how they spend their free time, but they're choosing to participate in active, community-rich programs that ideally inspire a lifetime of running and healthy well-being," said Jim Weber, president and CEO of Brooks Sports, Inc. "This year we received very meaningful stories about inspiring coaches who lead these programs, and we're super excited to honor them for the immense dedication they've given their athletes and our sport."
Beginning today, runners, community members, students, and more are invited to visit www.facebook.com/brooksrunning to learn about the finalist coaches and their special stories. Fans are encouraged to show support by voting for their favorites by Sept. 2, 2012. This year's most inspiring coach will be announced in September 2012.
Hailing from high schools across the U.S., Brooks' 25 most inspiring high school track and/or cross country coaches for 2012 are:
Arthemon Sindayigaya, Abilene Christian High School (Abilene, TX)
Pete Boudreaux, Catholic High School (Baton Rouge, LA)
Kay Nekota, Vacaville High School (Vacaville, CA)
Mark Buesing, Libertyville High School (Libertyville, IL)
John O'Malley, Carl Sandburg High School (Orland Park, IL)
Mike Buslepp, Romeo High School (Romeo, MI)
Israel Pose, Torrance High School (Torrance, CA)
Hernando Chavez, Taos High School (Taos, NM)
Joseph Prince, Sahuarita High School (Sahuarita, AZ)
Christian Cuthbert, Veritas School (Richmond, VA)
Paul Raley, Benton High School (Benton, WI)
Jeremy Darby, Landrum High School (Campobello, SC)
Wayne Roberts, Sandusky High School (Sandusky, MI)
David Davis, Mountain View High School (Stafford, VA)
Dan Scroggins, Lake City Community School (Lake City, CO)
Julie Fink, Runnels High School (Baton Rouge, LA)
Mark Shafer, Chardon High School (Chardon, OH)
Scott Griggs, Franklin High School (Seattle, WA)
Eric Heintz, Marist School (Atlanta, GA)
Ben Talsma, Crossroads Charter Academy (Big Rapids, MI)
Marcus Jackson, Sheffield High School (Memphis, TN)
Melissa Thomas, Manchester Valley High School (Manchester, MD)
Victoria Jones, Mill Springs Academy (Alpharetta, GA)
Connie Washnik, Park Ridge High School (Park Ridge, NJ)
Jerry Loveall, Velma-Alma High School (Velma, OK)
Each of the Inspiring Coaches finalists will receive $5,000 in Brooks performance running footwear, apparel, and accessories for their team, $500 in cash for additional team expenses, and membership into the Brooks Inspire Daily (I.D.) program. The Brooks I.D. program is an invitation-only influencer group with members who are active in their running communities and share a passion for the Brooks brand. The 2012 Inspiring Coach of the Year will also receive an additional $5,000 in Brooks gear, $2,000 in cash and a trip for two to the 2013 Brooks PR Invitational.
Brooks Sports, Inc. created the Brooks Inspiring Coaches program in February 2011 to identify and honor coaches across the nation who put in extra time and resources to build and keep their programs strong, make a lasting difference in the lives of their athletes, and inspire everyone in the community to run and be active. In an effort to bolster its support for coaches and their high school running teams nationwide, Brooks decided to more than double its investment in the Inspiring Coaches program for 2012 by increasing the number of finalists from 10 to 25.
For more information on the 2012 top 25 Inspiring Coaches finalists and to vote for your favorite, visit www.Facebook.com/brooksrunning.