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Rhodes one of top eight track coaches in nation

Nationally in top eight ... Jerry Rhodes, coach at Philip High School for 40 years, has been listed as one of the top eight coaches in the sport of boys’ track and field. He was honored at the National High School Athletic Coaches Association awards banquet during the 46th annual meeting/seminar in Grand Rapids, Mich., June 22. “Credit goes to the Philip athletes, we are recognized on the national level. You can’t beat that; its quite the honor,” said Rhodes.

The National High School Athletic Coaches Association has named the 2011 NHSACA Coach of the Year winners.

Jerry Rhodes, coach at Philip High School for 40 years, has been listed in the top eight track coaches in the sport of boys' track and field. He was honored at the NHSACA national awards banquet held at the 46th annual meeting/seminar in Grand Rapids, Mich., Wednesday, June 22, at the end of the week-long convention. This event is attended by athletic directors and coaches in 18 sports from throughout the United States.

According to the NHSACA, to be considered for this award a nominee has been determined to have outstanding coaching longevity and win-loss record, championship years, awards received and service to the coaching profession and to the athletes of the state of South Dakota.

Rhodes had been chosen as the South Dakota High School boys' track and field coach of the year for 2010. Then he was nominated for the national level. Eight or fewer are actually selected for the national honors in each sport. "I think it's quite the honor just to be one of the finalists on the national level," said Rhodes.

"There was a pretty good delegation from South Dakota there," said Rhodes. He and his wife, Patti, attended. "She thought it was pretty nice." Chosen as the boy's track and field national coach of the year was Frank Amato, Illinois. "The gentleman who won it, what a trooper. He'd been coaching for 55 years in the Chicago area," said Rhodes.

"It was quite unique in talking to other coaches, how their programs and state meets are run," said Rhodes. One example he gave was that Indiana has only one class, as opposed to South Dakota's AA, A and B system. Rhodes knew some other coaches from the multi-state region, "Quite unique, like a small reunion."

"I personally think this is quite a tribute to our athletes in track and field in Philip for many years," said Rhodes. "For me to be nominated, that's great, but if not for all the dedicated athletes it wouldn't be anything. They are highly recognized and well respected throughout the state. My hat is off to all my former athletes, they've been troopers. Credit goes to the Philip athletes, we are recognized on the national level. You can't beat that; it's quite the honor."

The 2011 Coach of the Year winner from South Dakota was Georgia Adolph, Flandreau High School, assistant coach in girls' sports. Other finalists from South Dakota were Steve Kueter, O'Gorman High School, Sioux Falls, in the sport of football, Randy Hermansen, Eureka High School, in the sport of girls' track and field, Bill Martens, Aberdeen Central High School, in the sport of girls' cross country, Phil Hunt, Rapid City Stevens, in the sport of golf, Tim Mulhair, Yankton High School, in the sport of tennis; Mark Upward, Vermillion High School, in the sport of gymnastics; and Doc Michel, Rapid City Stevens, assistant coach in boys' sports. Wayne Carney, Fort Pierre, received the NHSACA Distinguished Service Award. The national winner in the sport of wrestling was Eddie Clark, Wyoming, who once coached at Wall High School.