USBC selects USOC Coach of the Year nominees

    02/09/08

    USBC Coaching

    Ohio, California and Minnesota certified coaches have shot at national awards

    USBCCoachingLogo.jpg Certified coaches from Ohio, California and Minnesota are the USBC nominees for the U.S. Olympic Committee's 2007 Coach of the Year awards.

    USBC coaches Jeri Edwards (Medina, Ohio), John Fukasawa (Applegate, Calif.) and David Pearson (Rochester, Minn.) have been nominated for USOC National Coach of the Year, Volunteer Coach of the Year and Developmental Coach of the Year, respectively.

    The awards are organized through the USOC Coaching Recognition Program, which seeks to elevate the status of coaching as a profession and recognize the best coaches in the United States.

    Each Olympic and Pan American sport is invited to nominate coaches annually for the USOC Coach of the Year awards. National finalists for the awards, which recognize coaches for activity during 2007, will be honored at a special function at a time and place to be announced.

    TeamUSAHEadCoachJeriEdwards.jpg USBC Team USA head coach Edwards directed her athletes to gold medals in 11 events in the Pan American Games in Brazil, Women's World Championships in Mexico and Men's American Zone Championships in Guatemala.

    Under Edwards' leadership, Team USA's Bill Hoffman became the first American to win the men's division at the QubicaAMF World Cup in 12 years last November in Russia. Edwards, 45, is one of the sport's most respected coaches having earned Bronze, Silver and Gold level certification through USBC Coaching, the only bowling coaching program recognized by the USOC.

    "This was an incredible year," Edwards said. "There's so much talent. This program has worked hard over the years to put it in position to be a force. You can see it in the performances of the athletes. This was maybe the most successful year for the team ever. We had a great team and many young players who stepped up to the plate and bowled well."

    Now Edwards looks forward to a new chapter in Team USA history as professionals will join amateurs to represent the United States in international bowling competition. Last August, the World Tenpin Bowling Association voted to allow members of professional organizations to compete in international events, prompting USBC to change the selection procedures for Team USA in 2008.

    The men's team includes Denny's Professional Bowlers Association Tour stars Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Parker Bohn III, Patrick Allen and Sean Rash. "Last year closed out an era," she said. "I'm excited to have the pros be part of the team."

    2008VotYJohnFukasawa.jpg Fukasawa, a USBC Silver coach, has been coaching for 10 years in the youth bowling program at Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights, Calif., where he was instrumental in developing a Saturday clinic for youth and adults.

    The 61-year-old - who was recently named 2007 USBC Youth Program Volunteer of the Year - has worked hard over the years to increase his knowledge and qualifications through the USBC Coaching certification program.

    Fukasawa began his coaching journey in 1997, earning certification as a USBC Level I coach. One year later he became a USBC Level II coach before earning USBC Bronze status in 2003. Fukasawa earned his USBC Silver status in 2007.

    "John continues to give of himself because he truly enjoys helping others," said Debbie Haggerty, the Fireside Lanes youth director who nominated Fukasawa for the award. "He always has a smile and an upbeat attitude and relates well with the juniors. He is a great asset to our program, our center and our bowlers. He sets the mark for our other coaches."

    "I'm flattered," Fukasawa said. "I do it because of the kids. The kids are very receptive. They come back from tournaments and let me know how well they've done."

    DavidPearson.jpg Pearson has shown tireless dedication in his pursuit to help his athletes develop greater skills and better understand the sport of bowling. The USBC Silver coach worked with several athletes who qualified for and participated in the 2007 USBC Junior Gold National Championships in Buffalo, N.Y.

    Two of those athletes have qualified for the 2008 Junior Gold Championships in Detroit. Pearson, 53, was recognized among 2007 Bowlers Journal International "Top 100 Coaches."

    "I am tremendously honored, humbled and thrilled to receive this nomination and recognition from USBC," Pearson said. "I am very thankful for the many phenomenal USBC coaches and instructors I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with throughout the years.

    Their help has meant the world to me, and without their dedication and true passion for our sport, I would not have achieved the level of skill and expertise I have attained and be the coach I am today."