Kip Simons and Brett McClure Earn Regional Coaching Awards
April 15, 2010
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Air Force men's gymnastics head coach Kip Simons was named the NCAA West Region Head Coach of the Year, while assistant Brett McClure was voted as the NCAA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year. The awards were handed out at the annual banquet prior to the start of the 2010 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships at West Point, N.Y.
The Falcons' pair of Olympian coaches have been instrumental in the success of the Falcons' climb into national prominence. The 2010 Air Force squad, which claimed their first-ever USAG National Championship at the end of March, has accounted for five of the top six team scores in program history (and seven of the top 10), including a program-best mark of 346.450.
This season, in addition to winning the program's first USAG title, Air Force sent a program-record nine gymnasts to the NCAA National Championships, saw three individual and all seven team records fall, had three gymnasts ranked among the nation's top-20 in the rankings prior to the championships and sent three gymnasts to compete at the prestigious Winter Cup Challenge - equaling the number of Falcons that had competed in that meet over the last 20 years.
This is the second regional coaching award for Simons, who also claimed the honor in 2008. This season, Simons was also awarded as the USAG Head Coach of the Year, while McClure and second-year assistant Lt Col Chuck Schweiss were named the USAG Assistant Coaches of the Year.
In addition, Capt Levi Torkelson, the former Air Force men's gymnastics assistant coach who was killed in an auto accident in 2008, was awarded the Honor Coach Certificate. His parents, Charles and Rebecca, and his brother and sister-in-law, Corie and Katie, accepted the award.
The Honor Coach Certificate, first presented in 1965, is awarded posthumously to a deceased member of the coaching profession, who was either too young to qualify for the 25 years of service to the sport of gymnastics or had not been nominated for the Honor Coach Award prior to his death.
The inscription on the plaque reads "In recognition of his service in coaching and developing gymnasts in the United States. He has gained the respect of his colleagues in the gymnastic world by his inspiring example and accomplishments."