NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE
HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS
Bob Jones’ Gunner named 2016 National Swimming Coach of the Year Selected by NFHS Coaches Association
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Bob Jones High School swimming Coach Michael Gunner has been selected the 2016 National High School Boys’ Swimming Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
Gunner, who guided the Patriots to nine AHSAA state boys’ swimming championships from 2004-2015, is one of 22 coaches nationally receiving NFHS Coach of the Year awards. He was also named AHSAA State Coach of the year for the 2015-16 school year and Section 3 Coach of the Year. Section 3 is comprised of the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Gunner’s teams won seven boys’ state titles in a row from 2004-09 and has been at Bob Jones for more than 40 years. He announced his retirement from coaching after the 2016 season. He will remain as assistant principal at Rainbow Elementary in Madison.
“Coach Gunner has been instrumental in the growth of high school swimming and diving in the state of Alabama,” said Marvin Chou, AHSAA Assistant Director and former prep swim coach himself. “He has served on the AHSAA Swimming & Diving committee for the last three years. He has been a positive advocate for school-based sports who has been committed to high school sports. He has been a tremendous asset for Bob Jones as well as the state of Alabama. Coach Gunner has truly left a mark in the sport.”
Gunner also coached at Austin, Decatur and Athens high schools and was has been the Bob Jones swim coach since 2000. “I’m floored and honored, of course, but when you’re doing something you really like, that’s enough,” Gunner told Al.com. “It’s not about me. It’s about the kids, (and) I’m really going to miss working with the kids. … It’s a good way to end a career.”
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 one “other” sport that is 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 award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2015-16 school year.
Other recipients of the NFHS national awards for boys sports are: David Walker, football, Martinsburg (West Virginia) High School; George McCabe, Jr., track and field, East Bridgewater (Massachusetts) High School; Richard Kortokrax, basketball, Kalida (Ohio) High School; Kirk Bock, baseball, Bryant (Arkansas) High School; Philip Savitz, soccer, Lexington (South Carolina) River Bluff High School; Anthony Carter, wrestling, El Paso (Texas) J.M. Hanks High School; Jeff Horsley, cross country, Soda Springs (Idaho) High School; Peter Ceprano, tennis, North Scituate (Rhode Island) Scituate High School; and Hal Rossow, golf, Panora (Iowa) Panorama High School.
The recipients of the 2016 NFHS national awards for girls sports are: Don Berger, track and field, Salem (Oregon) North Salem High School; Anne Long, basketball, Columbia (South Carolina) Spring Valley High School; Gwenn Pike, volleyball, Fairway (Kansas) Bishop Miege High School; Katherine Stackel, soccer, Copenhagen (New York) Central High School; Ronnie Ooten, softball, Chapmanville (West Virginia) Regional High School; Scott Ball, cross country, Tigard (Oregon) Westside Christian High School; Peggy Holecek, tennis, Northbrook (Illinois) Glenbrook North High School; Andrew Pedersen, swimming and diving, Fishers (Indiana) Hamilton Southeastern High School; Reid Sclafani, golf, Garden City (New York) High School; and Danielle Gallagher, lacrosse, Manhasset (New York) High School.
The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Erikka Ault of Edmond (Oklahoma) North High School, and Martha Faust of Mt. Horeb (Wisconsin) High School was chosen in the other sports category for Girls Gymnastics.
In addition to the 22 National Coaches of the Year, the NFHS Coaches Association has selected David McClusky, M.D. of Twin Falls, Idaho, as the recipient of the National Coach Contributor Award.
A total of 530 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.