Getty nominated national coach of the year


photo by Chatham Farrell

Cross country and track head cosch Jay Getty talks to the boys track team in practice on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Justin Baronoff, Sports Editor

From coaching three-time Olympic runner Jenny Simpson to saving a man’s life from a heart attack, cross country head coach Jay Getty already has several accomplishments under his belt.

He added to that list on Wednesday, Jan. 18, when he was named a finalist by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for the National Coach of the Year Award in girls cross country.

“To be honest, I was shocked when I found out I was a finalist for this award,” Getty said. “When I submitted my information, I thought that I was lucky to be thought of as a nominee, but I’m excited about the opportunity to meet new coaches and share training ideas with the best in the nation.”

The Florida Athletic Coaches Association submits nominees for each sport to the NHSAC based on the longevity and success of the team. After he was selected, Getty had to submit a form that outlines his achievements based on his 26-year coaching career, including being named the Seminole Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year from 2010 to 2012.

Although Getty was surprised to receive the nomination, the girls cross country team and his son, senior Caleb Getty, believed it was well deserved.

“It was only a matter of time before somebody got a hold of how much success he was having with consistency within the girls program,” Caleb said. “Even dating back to his Oviedo coaching days, he has always had success.”

This past season, cross country’s continued success was the reason for Getty’s acknowledgement, as senior Nicolette Worrell led the team with an eighth place finish in the FHSAA state finals to give them eighth place overall. During the team’s banquet on Dec. 20, Getty broke the news about his nomination, which excited Worrell and the team.

“He knows what works and what doesn’t and has a way of making an athlete have so much self-induced motivation,” Worrell said. “For three of my four years, we’ve made it through to the state championship, so the girls’ effort really reflects his coaching.”

Despite the National Coach of the Year Award only looking at a coach’s success in recent history, junior Morgan Morarend believes Getty has another aspect that makes him different from other coaches.

“His personality is so funny, and he jokes around all the time,” Morarend said. “He just makes the sport so much fun and going to practice was our favorite part of the day.”

As Getty becomes the first coach in school history to be selected as a finalist for this award, he believes this is more than an athletic achievement.

“We have outstanding athletes and scholars as a school and an athletic program,” Getty said. “I am fortunate to work with these individuals and find success together and I am glad to bring a positive note to the community.”

Before Getty focuses on attending the NHSCA’s national convention in East Peoria, Ill. on June 21, he will have to begin preparation for the track season, as the first practice was held on Monday, Jan. 23.

Even though Getty is thrilled to be up for this award, he still does not lose sight of what makes coaching so special.

“[Coaching] is a chance to share a sport that I loved in high school and college,” Getty said. “Every time an athlete meets their goals, it brings a positive feeling that we as teachers and coaches are making a difference in lives each and every day.”