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January 16, 2015

Davis, Ryals and Stevenson are 2014 Coaches of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Great coaching doesn't just inspire an athlete to success on the podium, but also in academics, business and life.  

"I never cease to be amazed at the power of the coaching process to draw out the skills or talent that was previously hidden within an individual, and which invariably finds a way to solve a problem previously thought unsolvable," said John Russell, a former Vice President of Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

Today, USA Archery has announced the names of three new Coaches of the Year who exemplify those qualities: Derek Davis, George Ryals IV, and Kathleen Stevenson. The winning Coaches were voted for by USA Archery members who are certified Level 2 and above Instructors and Coaches.

The National Coach of the Year is defined as "a coach of an Elite Level Club, Collegiate, Pan-Am, World Championship or Olympic Games coach or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level." Derek Davis is the 2014 National Coach of the Year.

Davis, the Head Coach for the Columbia University Women's Archery Team, a Junior Dream Team coach, and an International Team Staff Coach, has wholly dedicated his career to coaching archery, helping athletes to All-American honors and national championship titles.

JoAnn Keane, parent of archer Sachiko Keane, notes: "Coach Davis doesn't stop trying to make sure you understand what he wants you to see until the light bulb moment happens. A great coach knows how to always put the player first. He knows how to develop character. Coach Davis is a great coach. He truly cares about each and every one of his archers no matter their level of success."

In the Developmental category, George Ryals has been named 2014 Coach of the Year. The Developmental Coach of the Year Award is reserved for a coach of a youth club, high school or junior-level coach, or a coach directly responsible for coaching athletes to the junior and/or elite level.

Ryals, the head coach at Archery Learning Center in Snellville, Georgia, was responsible for coaching archers to 17 top three finishes at national and international archery events in 2014.

"As a coach, George has always been successful at binding his team together.  Always taking the high road at moral decency at the height of competition.  He encourages the same for his team members and reinforcing camaraderie of the sport as well as individual competition," commented Chris and Dondi Pyles, parents of Cameron Pyles, who has been coached by Ryals since 2011.

The Volunteer Coach of the Year is a coach who does not receive payment in any form for their involvement in coaching, at any level. Kathleen Stevenson of Oklahoma City has received the 2014 Volunteer Coach of the Year Award for her accomplishments in working with the Oklahoma Storm JOAD Club.

Stevenson is an accomplished archer as well as a volunteer coach, who has achieved national titles in her own right as well as donating her time to teach young compound and recurve archers, assisting Coach Tom Stevenson.

"I have been blessed to have [this] level of coaching," explains athlete Brogan Williams. "Kathleen Stevenson [has] given to enhance both the archers and people who are a part of the Oklahoma and National archery world. They make sure the goals are appropriate for our level, reachable and that they have a plan for obtaining them." 

Know of a great archery coach? Learn more about Coach of the Year awards.

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