Jim Eekhoff, a member of Hope Christian Reformed Church in Hull, Iowa, was named Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Eekhoff has coached boys’ basketball at Western Christian High School in Hull for 30 years and has won 585 games. During his tenure he led teams to 15 state championship games, winning six of them.
He was surprised to receive the coaching award. He knew he had been nominated by the state of Iowa, but never thought he’d be selected.
“It’s an honor that you share with the players you had over the years and with the assistant coaches you had over the years,” Eekhoff said.
While this award is a high honor, Eekhoff said the opportunity to coach is rewarding on its own. “I think coaching in general gives you an opportunity to make an impact on lives probably more than in any other area of teaching,” Eekhoff said. “The coaching career is sometimes difficult to stay in that long. I’ve been blessed to be at Western for so many years.”
The award is based on an entire career of coaching, not just a single year. Each state nominates a coach; the process narrows these down to finalists in each of the eight districts until one coach is selected.