by Paul Soriano
USA Volleyball Manager, Public Relations & Publications
Mike Candrea (Casa Grande, Ariz.), who coached the 2004 USA Softball Women's National Team to its third consecutive Olympic gold medal with a 9-0 run in Athens, Greece, has been named the 2004 United States Olympic Committee National Coach of the Year, it was announced Sunday.
Dwayne Miller (Norfolk, Va./track & field), Barry Hunter (Ft. Washington, Md./boxing) and Mike Hulett (Des Plaines, Ill./sitting volleyball) were selected as the 2004 USOC Developmental, Volunteer and National Paralympic coaches of the year, respectively.
Also honored during the May 1 Coach of the Year Recognition Banquet at the Home Depot Center in Carson was track & field's Joe Vigil (Green Valley, Ariz.), who received the "Doc" Counsilman Science Award.
Under Candrea's guidance, the USA Softball women outscored their opponents 51-1 during the 2004 Olympic Games and broke 18 records. Prior to the Athens Games, Candrea's team was undefeated as it traveled the United States on a 53-game tour.
Miller has mentored hundreds of youth as head coach and co-director of the Norfolk Real Deal Track Club. His athletes include 17 national champions and 40 All-Americans. In 2004, Miller coached youth/junior competitors to three national USATF titles, six top-six USA finishes, three World Junior Championships gold medals and two world junior records.
In addition to helping numerous young boxers to national titles at every level, Hunter guides these at-risk youth from the dangers of the Washington, D.C. streets to being good members of society. The athletes coached by the respected role model and mentor are taught the importance of working hard in school as well as in the boxing ring.
Hulett led the inaugural USA Women's National Sitting Team to the bronze medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. A quadruple amputee who has previously received many honors for coaching high school as well as Boys and Girls Club volleyball, Hulett was the USA Men's National Sitting Team head coach for the 1996 and 2000 Paralympic Games.
Throughout his more than 30 years of coaching, Vigil has used the information provided by human performance data to develop specific training stimuli for each athlete. Considered one of the top clinicians in the world, Vigil coached two U.S. marathoners, Meb Keflezighi and Deena Drossin Kastor, to the silver and bronze medal, respectively, at the 2004 Olympic Games.
National Coach of the Year finalists April Heinrichs (Gainesville, Va./U.S. Soccer), Yevgeny Marchenko (Plano, Texas/ USA Gymnastics), Eddie Reese (Austin, Texas/USA Swimming) and Dane Selznick (El Segundo, Calif./USA Beach Volleyball), as well as Development Coach of the Year finalists Desmond Dickie (Toronto, Canada/USA Cycling), Pamela Gregory (Newark, Del./U.S. Figure Skating), Renee Hildebrand (Belleview, Fla./USA Roller Sports) and Drew Johansen (Columbus, Ohio/USA Diving) were also recognized during the May 1 event for their contributions to sport.
Andy Gouw (San Jose, Calif./USA Badminton), Jim and Anita Krueger (Blessing, Texas/USA Archery), Frank Murphy (Trenton, Mich./USA Hockey) and Tim Swords (League City, Texas /USA Weightlifting) were also finalists for the Volunteer Coach of the Year title.
The other finalists for the Counsilman Science Award were George Dallam, Ph.D. (Pueblo, Colo./USA Triathlon) and Kyle Pierce (Shreveport, La./USA Weightlifting).
For more information, go to the USA Volleyball web site at www.usavolleyball.org .