The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) congratulates Episcopal’s Claney Duplechin for earning the 2012 Gill Athletics National High School Coach of the Year for boys track and field.
Gill Athletics and USA Track & Field presents this award, which is based on an evaluation process that includes breaking down a large list of nominees on regional levels before national winners are selected.
“I’m thrilled to be in the presence of past winners and the other coaches nominated for this award,” Duplechin said. “It’s a great honor for me, but this isn’t about just me. I’ve had so many great athletes and assistant coaches who share part of this.”
Coach Duplechin will be honored at halftime of a football game this fall at Episcopal. In addition, his program will receive a $5,000 award to purchase equipment.
“Claney is a coach who has given a lot to the track and field sport,” said Mike Cunningham, of Gill Athletics, in a USA Track & Field news release. “In partnership with the USA Track & Field association, it is great for us to be able to honor him and give back to his program. Claney is well-deserving of this honor.”
In 34 years as head track coach at Class 2A Episcopal, Duplechin’s boys teams have won 30 district titles, 27 regional titles and 10 state championships. His teams also have four runner-up finishers at the district level, five regional runners-up honors and have been the state runners-up nine times.
Dupechin’s athletes have made 334 appearances at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s state outdoor championships. He has coached 63 state champions, including 11 pole vaulters, nine 1,600 meters runners and eight champions each in the 800 and 3,200.
In addition, Duplechin has been voted the East Baton Rouge Parish Coach of the Year 19 times. Since the LHSAA went to two divisions for indoor track and field, Duplechin’s teams have won three Division II titles (for Classes 3A and below) and posted three runner-up finishes.
In 2003, Duplechin was honored as the National Cross Country Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations. His Episcopal cross country teams have won 22 state titles, including the last 16 in a row in Class 2A, which ranks second on the NFHS’ all-time list.
Source: Robin Fambrough, The Advocate: July 2012