Receives NFHS honor for Northeast Region

WARRIOR boys’ basketball head coach Brad Simpson (middle) was named the NFHS Coach of the Year for the Northeast Region. (Donna Larsson Photo)

WARRIOR boys’ basketball head coach Brad Simpson (middle) was named the NFHS Coach of the Year for the Northeast Region. (Donna Larsson Photo)

Published in the March 21, 2017 edition.

WAKEFIELD — Wakefield Memorial High boys’ basketball head coach Brad Simpson was been chosen as the 2016 NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) Coach of the Year for the Northeast Region.

Simpson and WMHS wrestling head coach Ross Ickes were selected as the MIAA Coach of the Year for their respective sports last year. When they were chosen for that honor, they both were automatically chosen as Massachusetts’ nominations to be considered for the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) National and Regional Coach of the Year awards.

Simpson was selected for that prestigious honor.

Twenty-two high school coaches from across the country have been selected as 2016 National Coaches of the Year 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. 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.

Recipients of this year’s 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; Hal Rossow, golf, Panora (Iowa) Panorama High School; and Michael Gunner, swimming and diving, Madison (Alabama) Bob Jones 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. This award is presented to an individual who has gone above and beyond in the coaching profession by exemplifying the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and moral character, and who carries the endorsement of his or her respective state high school association.

The next award level after state coach of the year is sectional coach of the year. The NFHS is divided into eight geographical sections. They are as follows: Section 1 – Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont); Section 2 – Mideast (Delaware, Washington, D.C., Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia); Section 3 – South (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee); Section 4 – Central (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin); Section 5 – Midwest (Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota); Section 6 – Southwest (Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas); Section 7 – West (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah); and Section 8 – Northwest (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming).

A total of 530 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional, and national awards. Simpson is one of those coaches selected.