Coach of the Year award a ‘major blessing’ for Lennox Graham
Lennox Graham, who was named the Atlantic Region Women's Track and Field Coach of the Year in the United States on Monday, says he has achieved his "short, medium and long-term goals" with that coveted award, while thanking God for what he called a "major blessing".
Graham earned the award through a vote among his peers, the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
"I am feeling very blessed for sure. First of all, you have to get coach of the year from your conference, and to get it from my region is a big blessing," he told The Gleaner in a telephone interview.
Graham continued: "I am achieving the short, medium term and long-term goals right now, just helping to shape young lives and while at it continue to enjoy life," he pointed out.
The Jamaican is the head coach of Johnson C. Smith University's men's/women's track and field cross country programme, where he is currently in his eighth year of guiding the Golden Bulls.
"It (coaching) comes with a lot of challenges which people don't see, but we persevere," Graham continued. "To get the support from my peers and to be named top coach from my region is a blessing."
It was Graham's first time winning the top award.
"You don't start a season thinking about awards. For coaches, the real deal is
athletes; we focus on producing them, but when we get awards like these, we feel a big level of appreciation."
Graham is responsible for conditioning 100m hurdles World Champion, Danielle Williams, her sister, Shermaine, and
A former Kingston College (KC) student-athlete with over 14 years of coaching experience at the junior and senior level, Graham, himself a hurdling champion, won six Boys Champs titles.
He is also a 1984 graduate of Alabama State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration.
Graham later earned his master's degree in business administration at The University of New Orleans, in 2006.
Meanwhile, fellow Johnson C. Smith coach, Steve Joyner, congratulated Graham on the institution's website.
"For all your exemplary years of contribution to Johnson C Smith University, the CIAA and NCAA college basketball, I applaud you. For your leadership of our department, I respect and appreciate you," Joyner said.
"For your latest achievement of being inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame, I congratulate you! Through it all you remain humble and true to the student-athletes in your care. Hearty CONGRATULATIONS. "Coach J!
"This is a truly deserving award for your excellent services to the CIAA over the past decades."