Bill Miles of Wayzata High School was announced Wednesday as the inaugural winner of the National High School Cross Country Coach of the Year award for boys teams, respectively, by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The National High School Coach of the Year selection committee–a national panel–selected Miles from among the state-level High School Cross Country Coach of the Year award winners announced last week. The awards were based on team and coaching performances from the 2014 season.
Among the factors considered were team performance at league, conference, state, and national championships in the 2014 cross country season. Consideration was also given to margin of victory, degree of improvement, and national rankings.
“It’s an honor to name Bill Miles as our first-ever National High School Cross Country Coaches of the Year,” USTFCCCA CEO Sam Seemes said. “Coaching high school is so important and so difficult, and he models for cross country coaches at every level.”
Miles’ boys both dominated their state championships in November, and turned in stellar performances at Nike Cross Nationals in December. After finishing 15th in Portland a year ago, the Wayzata boys finished second in the nation.
In the mode of nearly all great college and prep coaches, it was near-impossible to get Miles to take any credit for his athletes’ successes.
“The award is quite overwhelming, frankly, and humbling at the same time. It’s only possible because we have great athletes and a tremendous coaching staff,” said Miles, who is retiring after 39 years of coaching at Wayzata. He’s also a retired classroom teacher. “I’m blessed as a high school coach to have a large number of adults coaching with me, and it’s no shock that we’ve started having success as more and more of those guys have come into the program.”
For Miles and his veteran squad—the entire top seven was composed of juniors and seniors, a sure sign of athlete development— this award comes on the heels of their second straight MSHSL AA state title. They also won the Nike Heartland Regional. The Trojans compete in one of the toughest distance running states in the country, as the teams at Edina and Stillwater are some of the most nationally acclaimed programs in the United States.
Interview with Coach Bill Miles: