Richard Barton, vice principal of Richfield High School and National President of the USA High School Athletic Directors Association, and Troy Norris, volleyball and girls track coach at Panguitch High School, were both honored this year at a banquet in the Starlight Room. They were then presented their awards at the halftime game of the SUU vs Montana State University men’s basketball game Saturday afternoon.
Barton said that receiving the recognition from SUU was humbling.
“It’s very humbling and greatly appreciated,” Barton said. “SUU gave me a great jump start and the best preparation possible with my career as a coach and athletic administrator.”
He continued to say that no other university that he’s aware of takes pride in preparing students to be coaches. He thanked his family and his wife as well as his appreciation for Steve Lunt, special projects and events coordinator at SUU.
“As I cross paths with former classmates and SUU alums who are products of the coaching factory, we all feel that we are a part of a very unique fraternity,” Barton said. “It’s one that our leader, Dr. Lunt, cares about us forever.”
“ Much appreciation exists for Dr. Steve Lunt and his establishing the culture and preparation that is known as the " ‘Coaching Factory,’’’ he said. “I, like so many others, am forever in debt for the training ground that I was so fortunate to be a part of.”
Norris thanked his wife who has helped him coaching volleyball and said he owes so much to his six coaches that he works with every day.
“What other 1A schools have seven track coaches,” he said.
Norris’s father was a coach and encouraged him not to follow his example, but of course he did.
“My dad taught me how to coach even though he encouraged me not to coach,” he said.
Lunt spoke and praised all the coaches in attendance with previous and current honors for their work, which included almost 30 in attendance. He shared the desire he had more than 20 years ago to find and honor coaching alumni of SUU. Lunt said he began finding SUU alumni were in school administration and many were also coaches.
“As coaches, you’ve dealt with any kind of situation there is to help others in their lives,” he said. “It helps in becoming an administrator to further bless lives.”
Lunt said it has been an honor to find and feature SUU alumni who have become coaches and helped others.