INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Jeff Hulse, softball coach at Olathe East HS, and Bill Johnson, wrestling coach at Norton Comm. HS, join nineteen other high school coaches from across the country selected as 2013 National Coaches of the Year honored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
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. 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 2012-13 school year.
Coach Hulse guided his Hawks squad to their seventh state championship last season, all under his leadership. The 2013 banner year boasted a 24-1 overall record. In 14 years as head coach Hulse has totaled a 308-22 record with 12 regional and conference championships. He has been an active member in the KCA for 14 years along with being part of the Kansas Softball Coaches Association. Hulse has been voted Sunflower League Coach of the year six times and been voted KCA Softball Coach of the Year three times including last year's 2013 season. Since 2010, Hulse has represented the national's high school coaches on the NFHS Softball Rules Committee. In addition to coaching softball, Hulse also coaches the girls tennis team at Olathe East.
Coach Johnson has coached wrestling for 26 years while tallying a 222-78 record. In that time he has gathered six state championships, most recently in 2013, to ago along with 14 conference championships and 11 regional championships. Johnson currently holds a seat on the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association executive board which he has held since 1989. Most recently the Norton head coach received the KWCA 3-2-1A Coach of the Year in 2013, an award he has won three previous times (1997, 2001 & 2010). He also belongs to the NAIA Athletics (2000) and Fort Hays State University Athletics (1998) Halls of Fame. In addition to coaching wrestling, Johnson is a junior high football coach, involved in FCA, and is the local coordinator for "Kids Voting Kansas."
The KSHSAA works with the Kansas Coaches Association (KCA) to nominate Kansas coaches. The KCA contacts their potential state award recipients to complete a "coach profile" form that requests information regarding the coach's record, membership in and affiliation with coaching and other professional organizations, involvement with other school and community activities and programs, and coaching philosophy. To be approved as an NFCA award recipient and considered for sectional and national coach of the year consideration, this profile form must be completed by the coach or designee and then approved by the executive director (or designee) of the state athletic/activities association.
Hulse and Johnson receive this national accolade after first being awarded state and sectional awards. Other sectional and state coaches of the year from Kansas will be announced at a later date. The NFHS is divided into eight geographical sections with Kansas part of Section 5 - Midwest (KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD).
The NFHS Coaches Association has an advisory committee, composed of a chair and eight sectional representatives. The sectional committee representatives evaluate the state award recipients and select the best candidates for the sectional award in each sport category. The NFHS Coaches Association Advisory Committee then considers the sectional candidates in each sport, ranks them according to a point system, and determines a national winner for each of the 20 sport categories, the spirit category and one "other" category.