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Cliff English Nominated for College Coach of the Year

Feb 6, 2021

Coach English Signs a Loaded 2021 Class | English Receives 2020 Linda Vollstedt Coach of the Year Award | English Takes Third-Straight Coach of the Year Award (2019) | Traditions--Sun Devils Who Have Earned National Coach of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  Sun Devil Triathlon Head Coach Cliff English has been nominated by USA Triathlon as the College Coach of the Year, the organization announced as a part of their annual Coach of the Year Awards selections. 
The National Governing Bodies throughout the World recognizes one coach in each Coach of the Year category for their respective sport. On behalf of the United States Olmpic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), English was USA Triathlon's nominee for 2020 College Coach of the Year.
Each year, USA Triathlon recognizes the best in coaching as part of the USA Triathlon Coach of the Year program. The USA Triathlon Coach of the Year Award candidates are selected in 8 prestigious award categories. The following is the criteria for College Coach of the Year: 

  • Evidence of performance highlights, significant or historic achievements, win-loss record, awards received, etc.
  • Examples of national achievements by the athletes/teams being coached
  • Examples of how the coach has positively impacted athletes, colleagues, staff, parents, other coaches
  • Examples of creativity and innovation in continued support of athletes through the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. significant projects implemented, creative adaptations to coaching, digital transformation, social innovation, entrepreneurship, etc.)

The leader of the Sun Devil Triathlon program was a clear choice for the award, fitting the aforementioned description perfectly as one of the most decorated and passionate coach's in the sport. The three-time College Triathlon Coaches Association Division I Coach of the Year has taken home the honor, which is voted on by his peers, in every season since the award's inception in 2017.
Under English's watch, Sun Devil Triathlon has been the gold standard nationally, winning four-consecutive Division I National Championships. The Arizona State brand has helped elevate the sport, which as an Emerging NCAA Sport with membership steadily rising since English arrived in Tempe. He has not only coached the top competitors, he has also developed his athletes outside of competition. 
During English's five-year tenure, Arizona State has had 13 All-Americans and 24 Scholar All-Americans. He has mentored three-straight Division I Individual National Champions as well as three-straight Division I Freshman of the Year honorees. Two on English's student-athletes have been selected as NCAA Woman of the Year candidates.
He has established a culture of excellence that has made Arizona State one of the most attractive destinations for young triathletes. Defending National Champion Kyla Roy looks to repeat while two-time National Champion Hannah Henry attempts to recapture her title. 2019 second-place finisher Audrey Ernst and Rebecca Naughton (fifth place) are eager to build on strong finishes at Nationals. Division I Freshman of the Year Liberty Ricca has a season of experience under her belt. Catherine Giuseffi and Kira Stanley rounded out what was an extremely deep Sun Devil lineup last season, one that dominated the National Championship race.

The development and improved skill sets of Olivia Jenks, Gal Rubanenko, and Kenzi Wilson gives Coach English options and flexibility with his lineup. With more talent added to the group, the intensity of training has increased, giving Sun Devil fans a lot to be excited about as it relates to the future of the Triathlon program.  
After coming off arguably his best signing class yet when he inked Valley native Katy Clausen and Olympic Youth Gold Medalist Amber Schlebusch from South Africa, English managed to keep the momentum going.
The coaching staff travelled all over North America to earn the signatures of four highly-skilled triathlete prospects. Alexe Coursol, Maria Jose Lopez Aguirre, Camille Buchanan, and Evan Welch will join the four-time defending National Champions for the 2021-22 season. Learn more about the group here.
"We are really excited about the incoming class for fall 2021," Coach English remarked back in November. "A talented group of four athletes with significant triathlon experience."
Under the guidance of 2020 USOPC College Coach of the Year Cliff English, the team is in good hands in their quest for five-straight National Championships.
For the latest updates and information on the Sun Devil Triathlon program, follow our Twitter/Instagram accounts (@SunDevilTri), like our Facebook page (, and visit our website (