COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Yevgeny Marchenko‘s success in 2004 did not go unnoticed by the U.S. Olympic Committee when the Olympic Assistant Coach was named one of five finalists for the 2004 National Coach of the Year Award.

Marchenko guided his athlete Carly Patterson to the Olympic All-Around title plus team and balance beam silver medals. Patterson also swept all four events and the all-around gold at the 2004 Visa American Cup, and won a share of the U.S. National title in June. For her efforts, Patterson was named the USOC SportsWoman of the Year.

The United States Olympic Committee’s finalists for its National, Developmental and Volunteer Coach of the Year honors and the “Doc” Counsilman Science Award will be honored  on May 1 during the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Banquet at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Forty-three Olympic and Pan American sports organizations selected their 2004 National, Developmental and/or Volunteer Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program.  The five finalists in the National and Developmental categories, plus the winner of the USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year title and the Counsilman Science Award recipient, will be honored April 30-May 1 during events at the Home Depot Center.
Finalists for the USOC National Coach of the Year are Mike Candrea (Casa Grande, Ariz./USA Softball), April Heinrichs (Gainesville, Va./U.S. Soccer), Yevgeny Marchenko (Plano, Texas/ USA Gymnastics), Eddie Reese (Austin, Texas/USA Swimming) and Dane Selznick (El Segundo, Calif./USA Volleyball).
Candrea led the 2004 USA Softball Women’s National Team to its third consecutive Olympic gold medal with a 9-0 run in Athens, Greece.  Outscoring opponents 51-1, the U.S. broke 18 records during the Olympic competition.  Prior to the Games, Candrea’s team was undefeated as it traveled the USA on a 53-game tour. 
Heinrichs coached the U.S. Women’s National Team to victory in every soccer tournament in which it competed in 2004, including the Four Nations in China, the Algarve Cup in Portugal, the CONCACAF Regional Olympic Qualifier and the Athens Olympic Games.  She also oversaw player development efforts for the Women’s Youth National teams, which earned a Nordic Cup championship and a third-place finish in the Under-19 World Championship.

Marchenko, and partner Valerie Luiken, operate one of the largest and most successful gymnastics clubs in the United States, placing as many as six members on the national team.    Under Marchenko’s tutelage, Carly Patterson has grown into one of the strongest international competitors, and in 2004 she captured the coveted Olympic all-around gold medal.

Serving on his fifth Olympic coaching staff – and his second stint as head coach – Reese led the U.S. men’s team to 18 medals in Athens, the most by any men’s squad since 1976.  Five of his own athletes – Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker, Neil Walker and Nate Dusing – made the team, with Peirsol, Hansen and Crocker earning a combined five gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

Selznick coached Misty May and Kerri Walsh to the Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball as well as 10 other tournament victories during 2004.  And when May was sidelined by an injury, he helped Walsh and Rachel Wacholder capture the FIVB Austrian Grand Slam with a 6-0 match, 12-1 set record.    

The Developmental Coach of the Year finalists are Desmond Dickie (Toronto, Canada/USA Cycling), Pamela Gregory (Newark, Del./U.S. Figure Skating), Renee Hildebrand (Belleview, Fla./USA Roller Sports),  Drew Johansen (Columbus, Ohio/USA Diving) and Dwayne Miller (Norfolk, Va./USA Track & Field).

In the 40 years he has been involved in track cycling, Dickie has been a coach and mentor to hundreds of athletes.  Cycling and its coaching techniques have changed radically during his tenure, but Dickie has always attempted to keep abreast of the latest developments without losing sight of the basics of his sport.

Gregory is currently coaching some of the most promising young figure skaters in the United States.  Over the course of the current and last seasons, Gregory’s athletes have represented the USA in 11 international competitions, bringing home two championships, five medals and three other top-five finishes.

A coach for nearly 20 years, in 2004 Hildebrand combined the science of physical therapy, her knowledge of sports training and her love for children and opened a non-profit business devoted to fighting childhood obesity and dedicated to the overall physical and emotional health of children and adolescents.

Johansen, who coaches at the U.S. Elite Diving Academy in Columbus, has had significant impact on the development and performance of junior athletes of both genders in all age groups.  Academy athletes have won two junior national championship team titles and Johansen has coached 18 All-Americans who were finalists 65 times in junior national competition.

As head coach and co-director of the Norfolk Real Deal Track Club, Miller has mentored hundreds of young athletes, including 17 national champions and 40 All-Americans.  In 2004, Miller coached youth/junior athletes to three national USATF titles, six top-six USA finishes, three World Junior Championships gold medals and two world junior records.

Finalists for the title of Volunteer Coach of the Year are Andy Gouw (San Jose, Calif./USA Badminton), Barry Hunter (Ft. Washington, Md./USA Boxing), Jim and Anita Krueger (Blessing, Texas/USA Archery), Frank Murphy (Trenton, Mich./USA Hockey) and Tim Swords (League City, Texas /USA Weightlifting).

During the last 30 years, Gouw has coached more than 500 students and volunteered over 8,000 hours.  Known for a style that recognizes the individuality of the students, his holistic approach to coaching is credited for the successful development of his athletes both in sport and in other areas of their lives. 

Hunter has not only helped numerous young boxers to national titles at every level, but he also leads them from the dangers of the Washington, D.C. streets to being good members of society.  A respected role model and mentor, the athletes he coaches are taught the importance of working hard in school as well as in the boxing ring. 

As youth archery coaches in a rural area of Southeast Texas for the last 17 years, the Kruegers have developed many talented archers.  Their year-long program has become a model for 4-H and Junior Olympic Archery Development curriculums throughout the state, and a pipeline for athletes in the sport.