by S. Purdom
Murray, Ky., ---- David Fields, Murray High School Athletic Director, recently announced Elaine Kight, MHS Girls’ Cross Country Coach, and Mark Boggess, MHS Girls’ Track Coach, as the newest additions to the Murray High School Coach of the Year Honorees circle.
The Kentucky Association of the USA Track and Field Association and the Kentucky Track and Cross-Country Coaches awarded Kight the 2010 Area 1 XC Coach of the Year/Area 1 Middle School Girls Coach of the Year, while Boggess was recognized as the Area 1 Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year.
Fields said these two honors follow on the heels of Rechelle Turner, MHS Ladies Basketball coach, Steve Duncan, MHS Football Coach, and Mickey McCuiston, MHS Ladies Soccer Coach, receiving Coach of the Year recognitions in their respective regions this past year.
Fields explained the Coach of the Year nominations and selection process is done by coaching peers in the coaches’ respective regions or areas. “The state is broken down into nine different regions in track, as opposed to most other sports 16 areas,” he said. “The Area 1 Coach of the Year award is voted on by coaching peers at the conclusion of the season and includes 21 other schools in this area, regardless of class.”
Turner began the domino effect being named Region One Ladies Basketball Coach at the conclusion of her 2009-2010 season. McCuiston was named the 2010 Coach of the Year for the Small School Division at the close of the MHS Ladies Soccer season and Duncan was named 2A Coach of the year after ending two back to back perfect football seasons.
Bob Rogers, MISD superintendent, said these five coaching awards define the Murray district. “Everyone knows the impact that a coach has on his or her team members and any time a school districts employee receives a statewide honor, you’re very proud,” he said. “To have five of our coaches already honored this year is almost unheard of. We’re extremely proud of the coaches in our school system.”
A 2009 MSU graduate, Kight began teaching and coaching cross country for MISD in 2009. She led the MHS Girls’ team to second place Regional champions, while the team placed fourteenth at State. “It’s an honor to be selected for this award, but the kids did the hard work this year and I’m so proud of all they accomplished,” Kight said. “We had 13 seniors graduate last year, so we started with a very young team. They amazed us by coming within three points of winning the region. The team members were not discouraged by their lack of experience. Instead, they did everything they could do to be the best they could be.”
A 1984 MHS graduate and 1983 State Champion and Honorable Mention All American High Jump, Boggess is a 1989 MSU alumnus and received his masters’ in exercise science from Memphis State University in 1992.
Boggess joined the MHS faculty in 2009 as assistant Football Coach, Boys and Girls Varsity Track and Field Coach, Boys and Girls Middle School Track and Field Coach and most recently in 2010, assists his wife, Clare, MHS Volleyball coach, as the assistant volleyball coach.
Boggess said building a championship program requires a tremendous amount of organization and teamwork behind the scenes.“Murray High School has a very deep tradition of excellence in track and field and I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of the program."
Boggess believes he is fortunate to have some of the best assistant coaches in the state. “It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized with some of other top coaches across the state. Our kids have accepted the challenge to push each other in practice every day and this competitive environment has transferred over to some great performances on the track.”
In her fifteenth year as MHS Girls’ Basketball Coach, Turner said being recognized as Coach of the Year is gratifying on a personal level, but the most rewarding part of the honor is the recognition of the hard work and success of her outstanding staff and amazing players. “Knowing that we have played a role in enhancing Murray High's reputation for excellence makes me very proud, and that will always be the honor that motivates me most.”
McCuiston said he was surprised and honored to receive his award. “I consider this to be a true team award and points to the success of the team and how hard everyone worked to reach the goals we had coming into this past season,” he said. “The parents and players should also be commended for a job well done.”
Duncan agreed and explained he believes his honor is reflective of the great base the MHS Football program is founded. “I thank the good Lord for being blessed with this award because I believe this award reflects the blessings that the Murray football program has received in terms of a great group of football players, a tremendously hardworking football staff, a highly supportive administration, and a devoted fan base.”
Fields said the MISD administration’s commitment to mimic the long great tradition of excellence inside the classroom and in their athletic programs is a long-standing allegiance that bonds the program. “The way to do this is to hire great coaches, just as we have done with our teachers. It has paid great dividends in both areas,” he explained.
Fields continued that the MISD is blessed with athletes who want to compete at a high level, and are very coachable. “All of these coaches have been fortunate to have the support of their players and their parents, and we (as a school system) are very lucky to have the support we do from our parents. I have said many times, we have the best overall coaching staffs in the region, and now it is being proven.”
Fields concluded he can’t go without mentioning the success that Mike Johnson, MHS Baseball coach, has experienced with the MHS Baseball team. “He led the team to the semi and regional finals, the past two years” he said. “He also led the baseball Tigers to the quarter finals of the All “A” State Tournament in both 2008 and 2009. We are very proud of ALL of our coaches, and we are proud of all of their accomplishments.”