Forest Lake Area Schools coaches Tim Newcomb and John Buck have each received Minnesota Coach of the Year honors.
Newcomb learned that he was named Minnesota Class AA Speech Coach of the Year at the annual Communication and Theater Association Conference in St. Cloud on Sept. 14. On Sept. 13, Buck received a letter from the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association (MSHSCA) announcing his award.
Last April, Newcomb was named Section 7AA Speech Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. During his 16 years of coaching at Forest Lake, his teams have won the section championship 12 times. The Rangers won the section tournament championship this past season, sending 17 team members to the final round of competition at sectionals and seven to state.
Although the Forest Lake Speech Team has had much competitive success during Newcomb’s career as coach, he said, “The moments I remember and appreciate the most are instances of growth on the part of the students. The relationships developed over the years are treasures of my teaching and coaching career.
“While I am honored and excited to receive the award, I am also humbled by it,” Newcomb added. “Several other nominees are close colleagues who I respect and admire. I also know that I do not receive the award on the basis of my talent and dedication alone; without the support of other Forest Lake coaches, and most importantly the talented and dedicated students on the team, it would not be possible.”
He received a standing ovation during his speech at the Communication and Theater Association Conference.
This is the second Minnesota Coach of the Year award for Buck, who will be entering his 10th season coaching the boys’ golf program at Forest Lake. He received his first award in 2008.
During Buck’s coaching career the Ranger golfers have won four conference and five section titles, and the team has taken second place at state twice, third place twice and sixth place once. In addition, three players have been individual section champions and two have won state championships: Paul Moberg in 2009 and Max Kelly in 2011.
This past spring season the Rangers took third place at the state meet. Luke Resler led the team with a 12th place finish.
“We started the season slow and were not ranked in the top 10 during the year,” Buck said. “But we had a great section meet and an almost great state meet. We had a chance on the back nine to still win the title but came up a little short.”
Forest Lake Principal Steve Massey expressed his pride and appreciation for the work that Newcomb and Buck have done over the many years they have taught and coached at the school.
“Both Tim and John represent all that is good about activities at Forest Lake Area High School,” Massey said. “They bring out the best in kids, they are passionate and they understand the value their activities bring to both the school as a whole, and to the school experience for students in their programs.”