June 3, 2013
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Air Force's Ralph Lindeman and Scott Steffan were awarded regional coach of the year honors by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, the USTFCCCA office announced today (June 3). Lindeman was selected as the Mountain Region Men's Head Coach of the Year, while Steffan was honored as the region's Men's Assistant Coach of the Year.
Lindeman, in his 24th season at the helm of the Falcons' track and field program, coached Air Force to its second straight Mountain West team title. Under the direction of the 2013 conference coach of the year, the Air Force men accounted for three conference titles and a program-record 22 all-MW selections, while recording 18 additions to the Academy's all-time top-10 record book. As an event coach for the long jump, Lindeman saw Blue Kearney earn a second-place finish at the conference meet and become the program's first all-MW selection in that event since 2004. Under Lindeman's watch this season, 16 men qualified to the NCAA West Preliminary Meet, with three advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
In his sixth season as the vertical jumps coach at the Academy, Steffan guided Air Force to the distinction of being the only team in the country with three different student-athletes to clear the 18-foot bar in the pole vault. Under Steffan's leadership in 2013, Cale Simmons set the Academy and Mountain West all-time record of 18'4¾", while Joey Uhle and Rob Simmons cleared 18'1" and 18'0½", respectively. That trio qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Meet, with Uhle and C Simmons advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Steffan's vertical jumpers accounted for 49 of Air Force's winning point total at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships, as the vaulters went 1-2-3-5-7 and the high jump team finished 2-3-4.
Lindeman has claimed the USTFCCCA regional head coaching award three times in the last four cycles (2012 indoor, 2012 outdoor, 2013 outdoor), while Steffan has earned the last three regional assistant coach of the year awards (2012 outdoor, 2013 indoor, 2013 outdoor).
The recipients of the USTFCCCA Regional awards are selected by the coaches of nine region (Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Mountain, Northeast, South, South Central, Southeast and West).
Lindeman and Steffan were two of four coaching honorees from the Mountain West, as Colorado State's Brian Bedard claimed the women's head coach award for the Mountain Region and San Diego State's Carjay Lyles earned the women's assistant coach honor for the West Region.