Johnson, Geopfert & Kyprianou Earn Indoor Division I National Coach of the Year Honors
NEW ORLEANS – With the 2014 indoor track & field season now in the books, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Wednesday its Division I Indoor Track & Field National Coaches of the Year.
After coaching Oregon to a sweep of the national team titles, Robert Johnson was voted Head Coach of the Year for both men’s and women’s teams. He is the first coach to guide his school to both genders’ titles in the same season since Greg Kraft of Arizona State in 2008.
Arkansas’ Travis Geopfert was voted National Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year, while Georgia’s Petros Kyprianou claimed the National Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year accolade.
Johnson claimed both the National Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year honors after leading his men to their first title since 2009 and the women to their fifth consecutive national team crown. The men outscored 2013 champion Arkansas, 62-54, while the women just barely edged past Texas, 44-43½.
While the men’s team title was clinched well before the meet finale 4×400 relay, the women’s championship hung in the balance all the way until literally the final hundredths of a second of the meet. It was at the finish line of the 4×400 where Phyllis Francis leaned in ahead of Texas’ Ashley Spencer to win the race in 3:27.40 by just .02 and the meet by just half a point.
Johnson saw a number of his Ducks win national individual titles, including Cheserek (3000/5000), Francis (400) and Laura Roesler (800). Cheserek was named the Men’s Indoor National Field Athlete of the Year for his efforts.
This is Johnson’s fourth consecutive year earning the Women’s Indoor National Coach of the Year honor, and he was also named Women’s Indoor National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010.
Geopfert of Arkansas was named the National Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year after guiding Jarrion Lawson to the national crown in the long jump at 27-6½ (8.39m), Kevin Lazas to a third-place finish in the heptathlon and Anthony May to a fifth-place showing in the triple jump for 20 of Arkansas’ 54 team points.
This award in 2014 is his second in a row.
Kyprianou of Georgia claimed the National Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year honors following an individual championship by first-year competitors Kendell Williams in the pentathlon, a runner-up long jump finish by Chanice Porter, a fourth-place pentathlon showing by Lucie Ondraschkova and a fifth-place pole vault result by Morgann Leleux – totaling all but 14 of Georgia’s third-place 40½ team points.
Williams was also named Women’s Indoor National Field Athlete of the Year following her collegiate and World Junior record score of 4635 in the pentathlon.