Jesse Griffin of Lee’s Summit West High School was recently named the 2017 National High School Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association.
Griffin, the head girls track and cross country coach at West, was recognized after leading the Titans to a second consecutive Class 5 state team championship last spring and the fourth in the school’s history. The Titans set an all-time state record with 109 points, the most by a girls or boys team in any class.
The Titans had All-State athletes in 16 out of 19 events for a total of 29 medals - also an all-time state record regardless of gender or class.
Last fall, West placed second in the Class 4 girls state cross country meet, just four points behind team champion Jackson. The Titans have won four girls state cross country titles, the last one in 2011.
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Griffin, who teaches math at West, has worked at the school for 10 years. He previously taught and coached at Lee’s Summit North High School, Raytown South High School and at a school in Wichita Falls, Texas. In addition, he served as a graduate assistant track and field/cross country coach at Emporia State University.
The USTFCCCA names a boys and girls Coach of the Year in all 50 states, and each state winner is eligible for the national honor. The national Coach of the Year is selected by a committee of five judges from throughout the country who thoroughly review information about each state winner, including athletic performances.
Griffin has been invited to attend the 2017 USTFCCCA Convention, scheduled during December in Phoenix. The annual convention is attended by more than 1,700 coaches from throughout the nation.