At the recent National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) national convention banquet in Peoria IL on June 21, 2017, Jeff Gee of Wilton HS was named Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year. Connecticut coaches who have recently received NHSACA Coach of the Year honors included Deborah Petruzzello (Middletown HS, 2016, Girls' Track and Field), Robert Orgovan (Amity HS, 2014, Boys' Cross Country), Carl Reichard (East Lyme HS, 2014, Girls' Track and Field), James Ford (Guilford HS, 2013, Girls’ Cross Country), Mark Logan (RHAM HS, 2005, Girls’ Track and Field), Gary Makowicki (Norwich Free Academy, 2003, Girls’ Track and Field) and James Ford (Guilford HS, 2001, Boys’ Cross Country).
2017 Girls XC Coach of the Year Jeff Gee (2nd row, 2nd from left) pictured with 16 other 2017 NHSACA Coach of Year Finalists
It is with great pleasure that the National High School Athletic Coaches Association announced Jeff Gee from Wilton High School, Wilton, CT as the National High School Athletic Coaches Association national coach of the year in the sport of Girls Cross Country.
Coach Gee was selected for this national honor by his state’s high school coaches’ association. He was then selected as the nominee from District I comprised of the New England states and New York. This selection was based on longevity, service to high school athletics, honors, championship years, and winning percentage. The nominees and finalists are evaluated by experts in the field of coaching using a sport-specific rubric to assign points in each category. The National High School Athletic Coaches Association is the oldest coaches association in the nation formed by coaches, for coaches, and has been recognizing national coaches of the year since 1978.
Coach Gee is the second longest serving coach at Wilton High School after completing his 29th season as head coach of the girls’ cross-country team. While Coach Gee has coached the boys’ and girls’ teams since 1988, the girls’ teams has been the most successful.
The Wilton girls have placed top three at the FCIAC championships in 23 of the past 27 seasons, including eight FCIAC titles (1990-94, 2002, ‘08, and ’10) and seven FCIAC second-place finishes.
Since the 1989 season, Wilton teams under Coach Gee have earned a 372-48 record in dual meets, averaging close to 14 wins and less than 2 losses per season, including 9 undefeated seasons and 14 FCIAC East Division titles.
On the state level, the Wilton cross country girls have finished first or second at the class meet 19 times in 27 years with four Class MM titles (1991, ’93, ’94, ’02) and four Class L titles (2009, 2011-13).
There are also three State Open titles (1990, 1991 and 1992) and two State Open second-place finishes, and two second-place finishes at the New England Cross-Country championships.
Coach Gee has also served as the FCIAC Girls XC Chairman for the past 10 years, as FCIAC Indoor Chairman during the past 8 years and 4 years on the CIAC XC committee. Coach Gee was also the FCIAC Outdoor Track and Field meet director for 18 years from 1984 through 2001.
Coach Gee’s dedication to the sport and Wilton cross country was evidenced by his leadership to move the cross country course from the Rolling Hills Country Club to a self-designed course through Allen’s Meadow Park in Wilton. The teams enjoyed training and racing on one of the only true cross-country courses in the state. Coach Gee also started the first Wilton XC Invitational in 1989 with co-director Jim Gerweck that recently celebrated its 28th edition last September.
Further information about the Coach of the Year awards is available from the NHSACA website.