The National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) announced the advancement of Bruce Gomez from Taos High School as a finalist for the organization’s national coach of the year honor in cross-country.
Eight finalists from across the nation will be honored during the NHSACA awards banquet, which will take place at the association’s national convention at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria, Illinois, on June 21. The highlight of the banquet will be the naming of the NHSACA national coach of the year in 19 sports categories.
Gomez was selected for this national honor by New Mexico’s high school coaches association. The selection was based on longevity, service to high school athletics, honors, championship years and winning percentage. The nominees and finalists are evaluated by experts in the field of coaching using a sport-specific rubric to assign points in each category. The NHSACA is the oldest coaches association in the nation formed by coaches – for coaches – and has been recognizing national coaches of the year since 1978.
Gomez, a 1974 Taos High School graduate, was inducted into the New Mexico High School Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame Jan. 23, 2016. In 2014, Gomez was named coach of the year by the New Mexico Coaches Association.
A long-distance runner himself, Gomez has compiled a distinguished record as a Taos High School coach, including 12 New Mexico state team trophies (six championships, four second-place and two third-place finishes). It is estimated that Gomez has mentored more than 2,000 athletes from Taos through his many years of service.
Gomez’s most recent state title came at the 2016 state cross-country championships with the Taos Lady Tigers claiming the top spot in Río Rancho Nov. 5, 2016.