Thomas the 3A State Coach of the Year, Staudt the Assistant Coach of the Year

The cross country season was award-filled for our teams, so it makes sense the coaches joined in on the fun once the season concluded.

It was announced on Thursday that both of our head coaches and boys’ assistant coach Troy Staudt were honored as award winners by the Iowa Track Coaches Association.

Staudt was the lone recipient of the Boys Assistant Coach of the Year award. Head boys’ coach Aaron Thomas was named the Class 3A State Coach of the Year, while girls’ head coach Laura Kautman was a 3A At-Large Coach of the Year.

A part of the boys’ program for seven years, Staudt has been alongside Thomas for three of the Tigers’ four state championships since 2014, including this season. Staudt earned the high praise through a nomination and vote by coaches from across the state.

“It’s a great honor for Troy,” Thomas said. “When he came in, he’d admit that he didn’t have a lot of knowledge about cross country, but he’s worked so hard to have a better understanding and he plays a big role in planning workouts, planning training, those things.”

Thomas says Staudt is key to the growth of the entire program.

“That (varsity) meet we go to at Boone at the end of the year that’s for our JV kids, that was his idea,” Thomas said. “He looks at the whole picture and does a nice job of thinking about what can we do for all 30 or 40 kids on the team and what’s best for them.”

Thomas earned his fourth Coach of the Year accolade, which he says is a reflection of the work the athletes put in throughout the season.

“It’s voted on by your peers, so it’s nice to be recognized by them,” Thomas said. “What the kids did this year, the award is a reflection of that.”

The boys’ team dethroned Pella in 3A to win the state championship. The Tigers also won 3A crowns in 2014, 2017, and 2018.

Kautman’s honor comes after a stellar season for the girls’ program as well. The Tigers were ranked No. 2 for the majority of the season, joined the boys as Raccoon River Conference and State Qualifying Meet champions, and completed the campaign with a third-place finish at state.

Congratulations to all three coaches on these awards. They are certainly deserving of the accolades.