Four NKY coaches named NFHS Coach of the Year honorees

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Four Northern Kentucky head coaches were named to the NFHS Coach of the year honoree list for the 2021-2022 seasons. 

Conner cross country coach Ian Johnstone, Ryle swimming and diving coach Jeff Floyd, Highlands track and field coach Ryan Leopold and Beechwood’s Noel Rash were all named to the list for the 2021-22 seasons.

Johnstone led the Cougars to both a regional championship and a 3A state championship.

Floyd orchestrated the Raiders boys swim and dive team into placing second in the 7th region and fifth at the 3A state meet.

Leopold guided the Bluebirds to a second place finish at the 2A state meet and a 2A, Region 4 championship.

Rash was also honored after piloting the Tigers to their 3rd straight state championship and 6th in the last seven years. Rash won his eighth state title in doing so. 

From the KHSAA:

As part of its annual awards program, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association recognizes Coach of the Year honorees from each state. Those named Coach of the Year at the state level then advance for consideration for Sectional Coach of the Year honors. Winners are chosen through a combination of their coaching accomplishments, as well as their contributions outside of competition to help grow their respective sports. These awards are announced following the recognized year.

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 two “other” sports–one for boys and one for girls–that are 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 awards.

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The next award level after state coach of the year is Sectional Coach of the Year. The NFHS is divided into eight geographical sections. They are as follows: Section 1 – Northeast (CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT); Section 2 – Mideast (DE, DC, KY, MD, OH, PA, VA, WV); Section 3 – South (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN); Section 4 – Central (IL, IN, IA, MI, WI); Section 5 – Midwest (KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD); Section 6 – Southwest (AR, CO, NM, OK, TX); Section 7 – West (AZ, CA, HI, NV, UT); and Section 8 – Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY).

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 two “other” categories.

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