CONVENTION: Gary Schwartz Wins Jimmy Carnes Award

PHOENIXGary Schwartz is this year’s recipient of the Jimmy Carnes Distinguished Service Award. Schwartz was feted Wednesday afternoon during Opening Session of the 2017 USTFCCCA Convention at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

The Jimmy Carnes Distinguished Service Award is presented to individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their service to the Association and to the sports of cross country and track & field.

Schwartz, who is now retired, held many roles in the Association over the years, perhaps most notably as the first president of the United States Track Coaches Association (USTCA), the predecessor to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). He spent four years in that role from 1993 to 1996, giving needed leadership.

Prior to taking over as USTCA president, Schwartz chaired the NCAA Division I Track Coaches Association for three years from 1991 to 1993.

And during his career, Schwartz was also very active in organizing cross country and track & field coaches during the early years of women’s athletics in the NCAA. He served as secretary and treasurer of the Women’s Intercollegiate Cross Country Coaches Association (WICCCA) for five years from 1984 to 1988.

Schwartz coached for 34 years, of which included 21 years as a head coach and one award-winning season (He was named 1983 NCAA Division I National Outdoor Coach of the Year). He guided the women’s programs at Penn State and Tennessee, as well as both the men’s and women’s programs at Kansas.

Later on in his career, Schwartz spent time as an athletic administrator at Arkansas and was the technical director of the 2009 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Jimmy Carnes Award – Past Winners

Year Name Program
2016 Kirk Pedersen Central Missouri
2015 Kari Kluckhohn North Central (Ill.)
2014 Patty Vavra Missouri Southern
2013 Dean Hayes Middle Tennessee
2012 Gary Wilson Minnesota
2011 Dave Harris Emporia State
2010 Jim Sackett Cal Poly Pomona
2009 Doug Watts Edinboro University
2008 Bill Thornton St. Olaf College
2007 John Copeland Rhode Island

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