Track coach sprints to a new level of coaching

Micheal Simmons, Blue M Editor-In-Chief

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High school coaches are common; however nationally-recognized high school coaches are anything but.

Kory Cool, the head coach for Manhattan High track, has been awarded National Coach of the Year for the midwest section by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Cool led the boys track team to a state title in their previous season.

Mic“It feels great for the community,” Cool said. “I think for us to compete at the level we did and have the success that we did takes a village. It took support from the community, fundraising, the kids showing up everyday and committed to the program, it took the staff and administration being on board. It was far more than just a me thing.”

The selection process for this award is extremely competitive, as NFHS only picks 23 coaches to even be nominated to receive a sectional award and then only eight of those 23 actually receive the award. NFHS selects one coach from the top 10 most popular boys and girls sports, two coaches from two ‘other’ sports outside of top 10 and then chooses a spirit coach separately.

“I think it’s just a pride thing,” Cool said. “If you look at sectional coaches of the year you will see Manhattan High School and that’s what I’m most proud of is having this community recognized. It really did take this community [working together] in order for it to be recognized. It takes more than just me and my staff, it takes everyone in the process getting on board and coming together.”

It’s a common idea that in order for a team to be successful, they need to work as team, or in this case, community. Knowing this, a lot of communities attempt to do this well enough to be successful, yet not all teams or coaches are successful enough to take home a state title or be nationally recognized.

“I’ve got a great networking crew with coaches all over the state and we talk and help each other get better,” Cool said. “I don’t think I do anything that other coaches don’t, it’s just our kids competed at a higher level in this particular season. That doesn’t mean it will happen every year, we just had the right combination of things fall in place.”  

Cool’s award is being recognized by the USD 383 Board of Education on Feb. 5.


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