Passion, Partnership and Perseverance Define Brooks Running Company’s 2014 Inspiring Coaches Finalists

Athletes, Families and Running Community Invited to Vote for the 2014 Brooks Inspiring Coach of the Year

Seattle – June 21, 2014

Helping a homeless athlete get back on his feet by inviting him into your own home is a remarkably selfless act. So is being present at your team’s practices and competitions while undergoing cancer treatment. But for this year’s Brooks Inspiring Coaches Finalists, it’s just another day as coach.

Brooks Running Company, the leader in performance run, today announces the 25 high school coaches who will be considered for the 2014 Inspiring Coach of the Year Award. The company invites runners, students, families and community members to vote via Facebook for their favorite 2014 Inspiring Coach and have their voice heard. The voting period lasts until July 31, and the Brooks 2014 Inspiring Coach of the Year will be announced on Aug. 5.

“We are truly blown away by this year’s Inspiring Coaches Award nominations,” says Team Brand Manager Steve DeKoker. “Right when we think we’ve heard about all the remarkable things the coaches in our sport do for their kids, we’re yet again surprised, amazed and touched by the commitment and selflessness each one of these role models displays.”

From thousands of nominations, the following coaches are finalists for Brooks’ 2014 Inspiring Coach of the Year Award:

  • Anthony Belber- Georgetown Day School, Washington D.C. – Grew a 15-person track team into a 100-athlete program.
  • Brandon Back- La Cueva High School, New Mexico – Encourages special needs students to join his teams.
  • Bret Neylon- Brownsburg High School, Indiana – Uses his personal testimony of being paralyzed to motivate his athletes to new accomplishments.
  • Brian Lombardo- Sweet Home High School, New York – Helps athletes struggling financially by finding work for them.
  • Dan Reeks- Sherwood high School, Maryland – Nominated by athletes from rival high schools for his inspiring coaching style.
  • Dave Halliday- Flagler Palm Coast High School, Florida – More than 40 of his athletes have gone to college on running scholarships.
  • David Culp- TC Roberson High School, North Carolina – Uses humor and compassion for his athletes to help them reach their goals.
  • Davis Eidahl- Pekin Community High School, Iowa – After more than 50 years coaching, he is the unspoken hero of his town.
  • Desmond Dunham- Woodrow Wilson high School, Washington D. C. – Coach’s holistic focus on the athlete pays dividends in the classroom, on the track and in life.
  • Dominic Newman- Shorewood High School, Wisconsin – Nominated by fellow coaches and former athletes for his dedication to building community.
  • Garlynn Boyd- Lightning Bolt Track Club, Florida – Pushes through her own health challenges to be present and inspiring for her athletes.
  • Gilberto Ruiz- Lytle High School, Texas – Coaches a state championship winning team all while undergoing treatment for bone cancer.
  • Jason Capelli- Pinelands Regional High School, New Jersey – Organizes volunteer activities for his athletes to help their community.
  • Jeremy Bartley- Alleghany County High School, Virginia – Donates gear to low-income students and also constructed the team’s cross country course.
  • John Neff- North Allegheny High School, Pennsylvania – Built a running community in and outside of his school by training parents and family members.
  • Keith Olsen- Westosha Central high School, Wisconsin – Inspires his team with his motto, “You have heart, and that’s the most important muscle in the body.”
  • Kelly Richards- Inglemoor High School, Washington – Begins every practice with a recap of her runners’ latest achievements.
  • Kris Keppel- Land O’ Lakes High School, Florida – Powered through a state cross country championship while undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Matthew Tompkins- The King’s Academy, California – Has a talent for mentoring athletes through difficult life situations.
  • Nick Accardo- Holy Rosary High School, Louisiana – Coached a small team with few resources to seven top-5 cross country finishes in seven years.
  • Nick Scott- Boothbay Region High School, Maine – Built a running program that consists of 25 percent of the school population.
  • Renee Williams-Smith- Mira Costa high School, California – Returned to Mira Costa years after graduating to launch a girls cross country program.
  • Ruqayya Gibson- Cypress Springs High School, Texas – Prioritizes community service and enlists athletes to host annual charity events.
  • Stan Fryczynski- Secaucus High School, New Jersey – Is known for helping athletes in crises like hurricane relief, flooded homes and more.
  • Tracy Hawkins- Georgetown High School, Ohio – Battled through a cancer diagnosis to be present and inspiring for her athletes.

Visit to vote for the coaches and learn more about their incredible stories. Brooks will award each finalist:
  • - $5,000 in Brooks performance running gear for his or her team;
  • - $500 cash for additional team expenses; and
  • - Membership into the Brooks Inspire Daily (I.D.) program.

The Inspiring Coach of the Year will receive an additional:
  • - $5,000 in Brooks gear;
  • - An additional $2,000 in cash; and
  • - A trip for two to the 2015 Brooks PR Invitational.

Brooks began giving the Inspiring Coaches Award in 2011 to honor high school track and cross country coaches who create lasting, meaningful differences in their schools and communities and to celebrate their work, energy and all that they do for youth running.

Past recipients of the Brooks Inspiring Coach of the Year Award include 2013 Winner Justin Torres, 2012 Winner Paul Raley and 2011 Winner Amy Pitzel.

About Brooks Running Company
Brooks Running Company designs and markets running-specific performance footwear, apparel, and accessories in more than 60 countries worldwide. Brooks’ mission is to inspire everyone to run and be active by creating innovative gear designed to keep runners running longer, farther and faster. Brooks’ mission is supported by its Run Happy philosophy, a quest to celebrate and champion the sport of running and all runners everywhere. Founded 1914, Brooks is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and is headquartered in Seattle. Visit for more information or follow us on Twitter (@brooksrunning) and Facebook (

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