Jul 4, 2014 12:00 PM by Jordan Mason
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The United States Olympic Committee has recognized USA Triathlon Certified Coach Kathleen Johnston as the 2013 Developmental Coach of the Year. Johnston is one of five national coaches recognized for accomplishments at the grassroots, Olympic and Paralympic levels.
Johnston (Nashville, Tenn.) was named the 2013 USA Triathlon Development Coach of the Year in February as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. The USOC award follows her selection as one of three national finalists in her category as selected by a panel of coaching and sport education professionals.
"This award comes as a complete surprise to me and I feel incredibly humbled and honored to be selected for such recognition from the USOC," Johnston said. "I truly appreciate all the efforts that USA Triathlon has put into developing coaches and junior high performance programs, and the opportunities I have had to mentor with top coaches in the sport. It is a very exciting time for junior elite triathlete development and I am so grateful to be a part of it."
"Kathleen not only represents the embodiment of our high performance culture, but is also an outstanding mentor to our junior athletes," said Rob Urbach, USA Triathlon CEO. "We are tremendously proud that Kathleen is receiving this prestigious -- and well deserved -- recognition from the USOC."
The award highlights Johnston's guidance of junior elite and youth elite triathletes in the Southeast Region. She led the Southeast Junior High Performance Triathlon Team to a first place finish in the USA Triathlon Development Team Championships, and coached No. 1 ranked junior elite male triathlete Hunter Honeycutt throughout the season. She also coached athletes to podium finishes at the 2013 USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championships, including Brent Demarest (second), Honeycutt (third) and Devon Dabney (second). Johnston also served as the head coach for the U.S. junior team at PATCO Triathlon Championships in Brazil and ITU World Championships in London.
Other coaches earning honors include: Erik Flora (cross-country skiing; Anchorage, Alaska), National Coach of the Year; Adam Bleakney (Paralympic track & field; Champaign, Ill.), Paralympic National Coach of the Year; Bienvenido "Benny" Roman (boxing; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Volunteer Coach of the Year; and Gordon Uehling III (tennis; Alpine, N.J.), 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."