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Anderson Named US Sprint Coach of the Year

The U.S. Sprint Coaches Association announces Alan Anderson as its Coach of the Year Saturday Feb. 11 at the USA Canoe/Kayak Coaching Conference in Oklahoma City, Feb. 11-12.

Anderson is the head coach of the emerging Gig Harbor (Wash.) Canoe & Kayak Racing Team. Development Coach of the Year was awarded to Jon Sously, who doubles as the Gig Harbor Canoe Coach and Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Together, the Gig Harbor duo has contributed seven athletes to the 2011 Junior World Championships Team and has secured financing to build a new clubhouse in 2012.

Alan Anderson, Gig Harbor Head Coach: "Ten years ago, when I started this project, I did it because I like kids and I enjoy exposing young people to our wonderful sport. After a couple years, I realized that there was potential to do something very special in Gig Harbor, so I went to work. I told those early paddlers that they were pioneers - that it would be through their efforts that someday our program would find a home. It's happening, it took awhile, but we are almost there. Because of our success, I find that the number of meetings I must attend to get what we want, is almost too much. It is an energy drain and it takes me away from what I enjoy, working with kids. The Coach of the Year award, being recognized by my peers, is very much appreciated. It probably could not have come at a better time."

Mac Hickox, USA Canoe/Kayak National Development Director: "Gig Harbor Canoe/Kayak Club has become a model club within USA Canoe/Kayak under the direction of its founder and head coach, Alan Anderson. As a volunteer, Alan has tirelessly worked with the Gig community to provide an opportunity for its citizens to experience sprint canoe/kayak. The new clubhouse will be a lasting legacy to what can happen if you dare to dream of possibilities."

Joe Jacobi, USA Canoe/Kayak CEO: "Our goals for USA Canoe/Kayak and biggest dreams for the sport are built upon the knowledge, commitment and passion of our coaches. I'm grateful for the dedication of all of our Sprint Coaches and leaders like Alan who are raising standards for developing our athletes' talents."

Coach of the Year - Alan Anderson - Head Coach, Gig Harbor • Assistant Coach Lake Placid Pre Junior World Camp 2011 • Member of SCA Board • Chair of Presidents Committee • High Performance One-certified and is presently a coaching candidate in High Performance Two of USA Canoe Kayak Coaching Education Program • Oversees a Gig Harbor club that offers gender equity in its discipline offerings - Men's and Women's Kayaks, Men's and Women's Canoe, plus has a developing ParaCanoe and Masters program • Strong supporter of USA Canoe Kayak National Development Program - Gig Harbor assistant coaches annually attend training camps as assistant coaches.

Development Coach of the Year - Jon Sousley, Gig Harbor • 5 of the 7 "canoe" athletes on the 2011 Junior World Championships Team were coached by Jon Sousley • Assistant coach of the 2011 Lake Placid National Junior Team Camp • Assistant coach of the 2010 Pan American Championships Team • Promotes gender equity offerings in canoe program - strong team of canoe men and canoe women - "hot spot of canoe talent" • High Performance One-certified and is presently a coaching candidate in High Performance Two of USA Canoe Kayak Coaching Education Program • School teacher by profession

USA Canoe/Kayak is a non-profit membership organization based in Oklahoma City, OK, promoting canoe and kayak racing in the United States. A member of the United States Olympic Committee, USA Canoe/Kayak is the national governing body for the Olympic sports of Flatwater Sprint and Whitewater Slalom and the official U.S. federation of the International Canoe Federation. Other paddling sports sanctioned by USACanoe/Kayak include Marathon, Freestyle, Wildwater, Stand Up Paddleboard, Canoe Polo, Canoe Sailing, Outrigger, and Dragon Boat. For more information about USA Canoe/Kayak, please visit us on the web at, on Twitter at @usacanoekayak and Like us on Facebook at