The three sailing Coaches of the Year were selected using criteria approved by the US Olympic Committee (USOC), evaluating the accomplishments for each during the competition period beginning 1 January 2004. The honorees have been submitted to the USOC Coaching Recognition Program, which works to bring recognition and attention to the contribution coaches make to sports at all levels of athlete development.
National Coach of the Year - Skip WHYTE
Skip Whyte has been selected for the sailing's National Coach of the Year award for his contribution to the success of the US Men's and Women's 470 teams in 2004. Following the 470 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in November of last year, Whyte put together an aggressive training schedule with the Olympic Team members to ensure success. Under Whyte's guidance, highlights of the Spring training season in Europe include bronze medals for both men and women at the 470 European Championships, which was an Olympic qualification for the women. In early June, the teams moved to Greece to focus their training on the Olympic Games. The success at the 2004 Games, a gold medal for the men and fifth place for the women, culminated in a successful year of planning and training, realizing a life-long dream for Whyte.
'Skip Whyte has devoted his life to producing a gold medal in the 470 class for the U.S.,' said 2004 Olympic Gold Medallist Kevin BURNHAM. 'After producing three silver medals and one bronze over four Olympics, his dream has come true. I personally would like to thank Skip for all his efforts in helping make all of our dreams come true.'
Developmental Coach of the Year - Tom COLEMAN (Hixson, TN)
Tom COLEMAN was selected for the Developmental Coach of the Year award for his work with Optimist sailors in the U.S. and worldwide, especially with beginning sailors in the Optimist Green Fleet. Throughout 2004, Coleman was active at more than 20 sailing events, working with more than 700 sailors. Coleman's nomination for this award came with a collection of letters from 25 youth sailors and their parents, thanking Coleman for sharing his technical expertise and taking the time to work with each sailor individually to develop their skills.
Volunteer Coach of the Year - Susan KASELER (Bainbridge Island, WA)
Susan KASELER was recognized for the Volunteer Coach of the Year award primarily for her work as coach of the Bainbridge High School Sailing Team. Kaseler became an assistant for the Bainbridge High School Sailing Team in 1999 and was named coach two years later. The Team enjoyed a successful year in 2004, winning the Northwest District Championships for Doublehanded and Team Racing, competing at the High School Team Racing Nationals, and helping to raise $30,000 to purchase a new fleet of boats for the school.
From the winning coaches in 45 Olympic and Pan American sports, five coaches in each category will be selected as finalists for the USOC Coach of the Year and will be presented at a special function in early 2005.