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Colorado Springs, CO - USA Archery has announced the winners of its 2010 Coach of the Year Award. Mel Nichols (Glendale, AZ), and Jim Coombe (Mason, OH) have been honored as the National and Volunteer Coaches of the Year, respectively. In addition to earning top honors in their respective categories, these three coaches are also nominated in the same categories in the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Coach of the Year program. In the USOC program, Nichols and Coombe will be reviewed against winners from all other Olympic sports.
National Coach of the Year Nichols has worked with 8-10 Junior and Senior United States Archery Team members over the past year, as well as coaching 2008 Olympian and #2 World-Ranked archer Brady Ellison. Nichols has also worked with numerous state, regional and national medalists in youth and senior divisions. He continues to serve the sport of archery as a volunteer with several state and collegiate archery organizations, and has aided in organizing Brady Ellison's Shoot for the Cure, a volunteer effort which raises money for breast cancer research.
"It doesn't matter if the athlete is at the beginning stages of his/her archery career or at the elite level, compound or recurve, Mel is there to do his job," stated Kari Granville, on behalf of the Arizona State Archery Association, who nominated Nichols. "[He coaches] that athlete to achieve the maximum level of his/her ability, and often times, helps them reach beyond what they thought they were capable of. No one ever gets turned away…not the archers or other coaches seeking to expand their abilities."
As Volunteer Coach of the Year, Coombe has managed the Cincinnati Junior Olympians JOAD club on a year-round basis. Under his tutelage, numerous members of the club have medaled in state, regional and national competitions, and cadet archer Daniel McLaughlin recently set a new COPARCO (Continental IF) event record. Understanding the importance of having a place to practice, Coombe built an indoor range that is open year-round and free of charge to local archers. A regional judge, Coombe is also the Ohio state JOAD Coordinator and a veteran tournament director.
"I have never seen anyone dedicate that much time and effort to training kids in any sport," said CJO's Angela Hsiao in her letter of nomination for Coombe. "Jim works tirelessly with each one of the kids in the club on their form and equipment tuning. For all he does for the club, Jim is never compensated. Friendly and kind to people around him, Jim has a heart of gold and a spirit of volunteerism that is unmatched. He is truly a role model for everyone in the club."
USA Archery Coach Development Manager Sheri Rhodes praised the 2010 Coaches of the Year, stating: "At the heart of any archer's success is a coach or instructor who inspired or motivated them. The nominations for 2010 stated that loud and clear. USA Archery is indebted to all of our coaches who inspire and motivate. "
Nominations for the 2011 Coach of the Year award can be submitted to USA Archery at any time throughout the year. The nominated coach must be a USA Archery member and certified instructor/coach in good standing. For more information on Coach of the Year Awards and a nomination form, click here.
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