Jamaican coaching genius, Glen Mills, was yesterday confirmed among track and field coaching deities with the 2012 IAAF Coaching Lifetime Achievement Award.
Supported by his charges Yohan Blake and IAAF Male Athlete of the Year recipient Usain Bolt in the audience, Mills expressed delight with his latest accolade, which came during the 2012 IAAF Athlete of the Year Awards Ceremony, inside the Pullman Skipper Hotel in Barcelona, Spain.
Mills is coming off perhaps his most successful season as a coach, after steering the successes of international superstars Bolt and Blake, established performer Rosemarie Whyte, as well as the ever-improving Warren Weir, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Schillonie Calvert; medal winners at this summer's London Olympic Games.Tremendous work
The Racers Track Club president and head coach dedicated the award to the entire Jamaican coaching fraternity and said that it's an indication of the tremendous work being done by those charged with preparing some of the country's top track and field names.
"I am really humbled by this award because when I started the journey as a coach I never envisaged the day that I would get the IAAF Coach of the Year award at any point in my career; and to be the top coach in the world is no mean feat," Mills told The Sunday Gleaner
, shortly after receiving his award.
"It's even more gratifying to know that I am a Jamaican and we are once again on top of the world. We are an amazing country and an amazing people and I am elated that I can hold the flag very high," Mills added. "We have produced top-class athletes, but we also have some of the best coaches in the world.
"I may be the first Jamaican ever to win this award and I salute all my colleagues back in Jamaica, this one is for the Jamaican track and field fraternity," Mills beamed.
Mills, who packs over four decades of coaching experience under his belt, conditioned athletes who won five of Jamaica's nine individual medals at the London Olympics - a marked improvement from the two that Racers Track Club had mined four years earlier in Beijing.
His athletes also formed part of Jamaica's medal-winning women's and men's 4x100m and women's 4x400m relay teams.
"This means a whole lot because you are up against some of the best across the world and for me to come out on top from an island like Jamaica, land we love, but a small dot on the map compared to the giants from North America, Asia, Europe, Africa, is really a moving and fantastic feeling," offered a thankful Mills.
"I have to thank God because without his blessings, gifts and all that; he has stood with me throughout the years, helped me to get to this level and I am extremely grateful," Mills said.