SYRACUSE – Syracuse Head Coach Rick Nordhues learned he picked up a major honor for his leadership during the track and field season through Twitter.
Nordhues, who helped lead the Syracuse girls track and field team to their first Nebraska School Activities Association state championship in 33 years, was named the Nebraska High School Track and Field Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Association this month.
While winning the state title was thrilling, Nordhues says he was more proud of the way his athletes competed at Omaha Burke Stadium on May 18-19.
“That’s not an easy task to go down there and do what we did in terms of personal records. Our kids had PR’s and we had one state meet record. We had five gold medals and two silvers out of 17 events. That is hard fathom that.”
The coach of the year award, given to one boys coach and one girls coach from each state, is determined by the number of meet championships the team accumulates throughout the season, the margin of victories, how well athletes compete and the team’s performance at the state meet.
The Rockets won all but two meets this season, including the Nebraska Capitol Conference meet and the district title. In the only two meets the didn’t win, Nebraska City and Louisville, they didn’t have their full team.
Winning the award is humbling to Nordhues, but knows none of this would be possible without his athletes and assistant coaches.
“Our coaches all realize where the kids can be most successful and they all bought into it. That was a lot of fun. I just have to say without those kids, first of all, it wouldn’t happen. Second, assistant coaches had a lot to do with it.”
With all of their point-scorers back next spring, Nordhues plans to attack next season just like they did this year.
Nordhues is also the head football coach at Syracuse High School.
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