Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches

OATCCC Hall of Fame

Ed Barker Award Recipiants

Vern Kiehl (Ed Barker Award - 2015)
Vern Kiehl

The Ed Barker Award is given as an acknowledgement to the individual who has shown the most exceptional service to the OAT&CCC and to the sports of Cross Country and Track & Field in Ohio. This year's winner is Vern Kiehl of Rossford High School.

Vern is a widely respected teacher, coach, official, contributor to his community, and contributor to our sports. With over thirty years of coaching on his resume in cross country and track at all levels from elementary programs through high school varsity programs, Vern has been a leader and advocate of young people. Vern got his start while coaching football at Perrysburg when he volunteered at the Perrysburg CC Invitational. This experience led to him being Perrysburg's cross country coach where he worked with both the boys and girls programs. As track coach, Vern worked with all event areas and built a respected program for his athletes. He volunteered to start a league JV meet so these kids could compete in a championship setting; he volunteered to run the community's elementary school track & field day and make this program a success for younger athletes; and finally, he began the Indoor Track program at Perrysburg, also coaching this program for free until his leaving Perrysburg in 2010. In the winter and spring of 2012, Vern joined the Maumee High School staff as an assistant track coach and helped them begin their indoor track program. The fall of 2012 saw Vern move to his current position as head coach of Rossford High School Cross Country.

Vern has also been an official for over 20 years working with many junior high track and cross country meets. He also officiates OHSAA District and Regional Meets as well as serves on the Games Committees for these competitions. He has served the coaches of Northwest Ohio as a district representative, served as an assistant and head coach for the Midwest Meet of Champions, been the OATCCC Vice President and OATCCC President, and served on the OHSAA State Rules Advisory Committee. He is currently the Chariman of the OATCCC Consitution and Bylaws Committee. In 2012, he won the OHSAA Award for Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Because of his many efforts on behalf of our sports, the athletes and coaches, and his community, we are proud to recognize Vern Kiehl as the 2015 Ed Barker Award winner.

Jeff Arthurs (2015)
Jeff Arthurs

It is rare-in fact it may never have happened at any other time-that someone wins the OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics, & Integrity award twice. But Jeff Arthurs did in 1995 and 2002. In fact, Jeff has won the Bob McCullough Award for his dedication and service to his community and in 2005, the Claymont Alumni Foundation recognized their 1967 graduate as the Claymont Foundation Citizen of the Yea. Also a Fred Dafler Career State Coach of the Year winner, Jeff’s personal life and coaching life have been a model of the impact that a coach can have on the lives of their athletes and community.

Over the course of 43 years at Claymont High School, Jeff’s teams won 19 conference championships in cross country and track. They also won District and Regional titles and placed in the top 10 at the Cross Country State Championships on two occasions. Individual standouts have included Runner-up Jerrod Long in the shot put and Champions Rich Ronald (in cross country and the 1600M), and two time champions Andy Pentecost and Troy Sproul, both repeat winners in the discus. Jeff also coached outstanding 3200M runners Kevin Case (9:30.1) and Mark Albaugh (9:31.1). Mark is the present coach at Claymont and a Hall of Fame inductee (Class of 2013).

Jeff has also served as a representative to the East District Coaches Association and as the District 5 representative to the OATCC Executive Board. He has also been a licensed track official for 37 years.

Still coaching the young people of Claymont High School, Jeff continues to impact the lives of young people and all with whom he comes in contact.

Steve Bruskotter (2015)
Steve Bruskotter

Northwest Ohio offers some of the best cross country and track & field to be found and Steve Bruskotter helped Bluffton High School become part of that conversation of “great programs” and “great teams.”

Beginning his career in 1973 as an assistant coach , Steve took over the head coaching position in 1977 (boys in 1977, boys and girls in 1985) and held that position until his retirement in 2008. In that 26 year period, Bluffton made going to the State Championship a routine part of their season. Once they got there-they made an impression on us all.

Thirty-five boys have won State Championship titles as individuals or as part of relays including two time individual champions, Shane Shockey and John Guagenti. The Pirates set three state records along the way while winning team honors as State Runners-up in 1978, 1985, and 1992. In 2008, they took home the State Champion title.

The girls have been equally as successful with eleven girls winning individual State Champion titles including three time winners Bonnie Stratton (100M, 200M) and Ann Stechschulte (800M, 1600M, and high jump) and four time shot/discus specialist, Caity Matter. Along the way, the Pirate ladies set two state records and won the State Runner-up team title in 1997. That same year, Steve won the Fred Dafler Career State Coach of the Year Award.

Steve served the OATCCC as the District 7 representative until his retirement. In 2010, he joined the staff at the University of Findlay and helped Shane Shockey go to the next level and eventually win the NCAA DII National Indoor title in pole vault. Corey Shank also won All-American honors for pole vault in 2013 (7th, Indoor).

Steve is still an assistant coach at the University of Findlay.

Mike Holloway (2015)
Mike Holloway

It’s a long way from Linmoor Junior High and Mike’s first track meets to the University of Florida, but Mike has had quite a journey. Along the way, the 1977 alumnus from Columbus Linden McKinley helped the Panthers win the State Championship title his senior year by winning both the 120HH and 330LH as well as running a leg on the 440 relay. From Columbus, Mike went to Florida where his Buchholz High School teams (Gainesville) won numerous District and Regional titles along the way to claiming eight State Championship titles.

Fast forward to the University of Florida where Mike enters his 20th year with the Gators and his 13th as Head Coach. One of the top programs in the nation, Mike has been named the USTFCCCA Indoor Head Coach of the Year three times (2010, 2011, and 2012) and Outdoor Head Coach of the Year twice (2012 and 2013). In this time, the Gators have won five NCAA titles in Indoor and Outdoor Competition. Numerous SEC titles and East Regional titles have also been a part of the Florida team resume.

Individually, athletes have won All American honors over 500 times and more than 50 of those athletes have won individual NCAA titles. Beyond the collegiate level, Mike’s athletes have won Olympic or World Championship medals 27 times including Gold Medalists, Dennis Mitchell and John Capel. Kerron Clement set the World Record in the 400M during the 2005 indoor season.

A widely sought after clinician and one of the top coaches of hurdling and sprinting in the world, Mike served as a coach for Team USA at the 2012 London Games coaching the men’s sprints and relays. In 2013, he was the head coach for the U.S. men’s team at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Moscow where American athletes accounted for fourteen medals, four of those gold.

Mike and his family still call Columbus home.

Ed Lidderdale (2015)
Ed Lidderdale

Ed å has served the athletes of Sandy Valley High School for over 38 years coaching both cross country and track & field. Even after his retirement from teaching, Ed has continued as a mainstay of the Cardinals’ program and its success.

Ed’s teams have won 15 Conference Championships, 3 District Champion titles, 1 Regional Championship, and a State Runner-up title. Additionally, the 1994 cross country team finished fourth at State Meet. A fifteen time Conference Coach of the Year, eight time East District Coach of the Year, and three time Stark County Coach of the Year, Ed was recognized in 2004 as the Fred Dafler Cross Country Career Coach of the Year.

Throughout the course of his career, athletes reached the podium and earned All-Ohio honors 32 times while taking individual State Championship titles four times. These included Jason Calkins in the high jump (1995) and Mike Coates in the 1600M (2004). Two time State Champion, Joe Crallie, won the long jump setting state records in both DII and DIII. His DII championship jump (1994) of 24’ 3.5" still stands as the DII state record.

“Service” was the word used to introduce Ed and his service to athletes and the OATCCC continues. Ed helped bring about the All-Academic awards in Stark County and the East District in his terms as Vice President and President of both the Stark County Coaches Association and the East District Coaches Association. After 20 years as the District 5 representative to the OATCCC, Ed served as Vice President and President of the State Coaches Association. During his tenure as President, Ohio added wheelchair events to the State Championship Track & Field Meet, the first sport in Ohio to recognize disabled athletes at that level. Ed continues to coach at Sandy Valley High School.

Steve Price (2015)
Steve Price

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Been there, done that,” but when it comes to coaching at the highest levels of competition in the course of a career spanning nearly 50 years, Steve Price is the epitome of innovation, success, and respect amongst his athletes and his coaching peers.

Steve has coached at all levels from junior high to the Olympics. Beginning in 1966 with the founding of the Kettering Striders, Steve coached all age groups through Masters competition until 1983 when he took the head coaching job at Dayton. Over the next 23 years, Steve coached at Dayton, was the national team coach for the Kingdom of Bahrain, worked with Endurance Training Systems, Lehman Junior High, Bowling Green State University, and Sidney Lehman High School. In this time period, he also coached in two national age group championships and as part of the AAU championships. His 24 hour relay set a world record, he coached the US Sports Festival North Team twice (1979, 1982), and international US teams competing in Moscow (1974), Dusseldorf (1977), and the USA (1980). The list of national champions is too long to name them all. Joe Green went on to be a two time Olympian (1992, 1996). Steve has also won just about every major coaching award our sports offer.

Since 2005, Steve has called Findlay University his home and has been an integral part of the Oilers’ team success. Three athletes have won national championships including Kirby Blackley, the NCAA Division II Athlete of the Year in 2005.

Anyone who ever had the opportunity to be around Steve walked away better—as an athlete and a coach. There is no greater compliment for a coach. In Steve Price, there is no one more deserving of such praise.

John Sence (2015)
John Sence

Milford High School sensation, John Sence, lived up to the school’s mascot name and flew like an Eagle at the State Championship level in both cross country and track. His junior and senior year battles with future Olympian, Bob Kennedy, were classic races that anyone present still remembers. John was the 1987 and 1988 State Runner-up in the 3200M and in 1987 was also the State Runner-up at the Cross Country State Championships. He went on to win All-American honors by finishing as the National Runner-up at the Kinney (now Footlocker) CC National Championships.

From Ohio, John went on to Wake Forest where he helped the Demon Deacons to ACC team championships in 1989 and 1990. In 1989, the cross country team placed 3rd at the NCAA Championships. John earned All American honors in the 10,000M in both 1992 and 1993 earning All ACC honors along the way. In 1993, he was named Wake Forest’s Most Valuable Track & Field of the Year.

For John, the longer the race the better. His post collegiate career saw him become a dominating force in American long distance running over the next decade. A winner of numerous regional and national races during the 1990’s, John was the USA Running Circuit Grand Prix Runner-up in 1996 and Champion in 1997. John was the 1997 and 1998 National Champion in the 25K and earned berths on the US World Half Marathon Team in 1996 and 1999. Other major wins included the 1999 Las Vegas International Half Marathon Title followed up the next year with the Toronto International Half Marathon Championship.

John ran in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Trials and in 2011 was a member of the Inaugural Class of the Greater Cincinnati Running Hall of Fame.

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