Brennan Torgerson, boys golf coach at Buhler High School, and Natalie Horton, spirit coach at Valley Center High School, have been named National Coaches of the Year in their respective sports for the 2014-15 school year. These individuals were selected from all coaches throughout the country by the National Federation of State High Schools (NFHS) Coaches Association.
The NFHS honors coaches in the top 10 boys’ sports and top 10 girls’ sports, and in one “other” sport that is not included in those listings. The NFHS also recognizes a spirit coach as a separate award category.
Coach Torgerson was chosen based on a number of criteria including career coaching record, community service, involvement in other school activities, involvement in his profession at local, state and national levels, and his basic philosophy of athletics. In addition to coaching, Torgerson teaches entrepreneurship, interactive media, broadcast journalism and is the vocational coordinator at Buhler.
Torgerson has coached golf for 21 years earning five team state championships, three of them during his nine years at Buhler. Coach Torgerson led the BHS team to the 2015 4A Boys State Golf Championship and helped golfer Mac McNish become the first Buhler individual champion.
Valley Center’s Natalie Horton is the Head Cheer Coach at VCHS. Before taking over the high school cheer program five years ago, she spent nine years coaching middle school cheerleaders at Valley Center Middle School.
Horton has been a Special Education at VCMS for 15 years. Education comes first on her squad. Her goal is to develop well-rounded individuals, with cheerleading being just a part of that process. Horton was quoted as saying, “Athletes are students first. Their priority is to take care of business in the classroom.” She puts those words into action, excusing her athletes from practice to obtain help when they are struggling with a subject. Coach Horton’s cheerleading squad has a saying… “‘We are only as strong as our weakest link.”
Before being selected as National Coaches of the Year, Torgerson and Horton were first chosen as State Coaches of the year by the NFHS state contact in conjunction with the state coaches’ association. Each was then selected a Sectional Coach of the Year before being eligible for the national honor.
Kansas has produced 31 National Coaches of the Year since the awards program began in 1982.