Twenty-three high school coaches from across the country have been selected as 2017 National Coaches of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in two “other” sports – one for boys and one for girls – that are not included in the top 10 listings. The NFHS also recognizes a spirit coach as a separate award category. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2016-17 school year.
The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award
for spirit is Jeffrey Siegal of Buffalo Grove High School.
"This is an unbelievable honor that I share with my coaching staff and all the student-athletes that I have coached over the years,” said Siegal. “It has been a pleasure to have been given the opportunity to coach and work with the incredible athletes over these years. To receive an award of this magnitude, is just overwhelming. I am very appreciative and thankful to receive this as there are so many outstanding and deserving coaches out there."
Siegal is the most successful coach in IHSA Cheerleading history, having led two programs to eight total state championships. Siegal coached cheerleading at Buffalo Grove High School, where he teaches, prior to the IHSA State Series debuting. After stepping away to coach collegiately, he returned to take the reigns as head coach at Elk Grove Village High School and led the Grenadiers to five consecutive IHSA Coed Class State Championships, beginning at the inaugural IHSA State Finals in 2006. After his fifth state title 2010, he returned to Buffalo Grove as head coach where he made an immediate impact. The Bison won their first trophy in school history by placing third in his second season (2012) and followed that with a state championship in 2013. Buffalo Grove has finished in the Top 3 every season since, winning the seventh and eighth state titles of Siegal’s career in 2015 and 2016, along with runner-up (2014) and third-place (2017) finishes along the way.
"Jeff is not only being recognized for the accomplishments he has received as a coach, but also for what he has given back to countless student-athletes," said IHSA Assistant Executive Director and Cheerleading administrator Susie Knoblauch, who nominated Siegal for the honor. " He is committed to keeping a balance between sideline and competitive spirit activities that allow all of his athletes to thrive. We are thrilled to be able to recognize Jeff’s continued support of education-based athletics and the IHSA mission."