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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – It is USA Archery’s honor to recognize member-nominated and voted coaches of the year annually. These coaches stand out among their peers for their significant dedication and efforts to grow the sport and develop athletes. USA Archery is grateful to these coaches for their continued work to promote and improve the sport in their communities and across the nation. We congratulate all nominees and finalists.
A developmental coach of the year is coach of a youth club, school or junior-level coach, or a coach directly responsible for coaching athletes to the junior and/or elite level. This award is based on the accomplishments from the past year. The 2020 Developmental Coaches of the Year are Linda Beck and Laval Dee Falks.
Coach Linda Beck is a Level 5-NTS Coach who serves the archery community in a number of ways including the leading her club The North Central Elite Archers, serving as a head coach for the north region of the Regional Elite Program, and helping facilitate USA Archery’s Level 4-NTS Coach Course. Beck has been instrumental in coaching many elite youth archers and had seven archers make the 2021 USAT.
Coach Dee Falks is also a Level 5-NTS Coach and the head coach for the south region of the Regional Elite Development Program. Falks also serves on the USA Archery Board of Directors and World Archery Americas Council. Coach Dee has coached numerous archers to national event podiums in 2020.
A volunteer coach of the year nominee is a coach who does not receive payment in any form for their involvement in coaching. This award is based on the coach’s accomplishments over the past year.
The 2020 Female Volunteer Coach of the Year is Coach Melissa Tennant. Coach Tennant is a USA Archery Level 4-NTS Coach who works closely with the local Boy Scouts of America archery program near Helotes, Texas. Tennant’s efforts include training adult volunteers to assist the Scouts and Cub Scouts, facilitating fun shooting sports activities and creating Archery merit badge classes. Through the global health pandemic this year, Tennant adapted her classes to meet COVID-19 guidelines to allow Scouts to safely continue participating in their activities.
The 2020 Male Volunteer Coach of the Year is Coach James Gatton of Vanguard Initiative. Gatton is a USA Archery Level 3-NTS Coach out of Phoenix, AZ. At 79 years old and a disabled veteran, Gatton continues to compete and coach, positively influencing the youth in his club and inspiring other disabled veterans to shoot. Gatton was instrumental in adding an Adaptive Assistant Archer role to his club and this year he donated Shot Trainers so his archers could continue to practice at home during the pandemic shut down.