Big Reds’ Fosselman earns National Coach of the Year

PARKERSURG — National Coach of the Year.

That’s the honor veteran Parkersburg High head boys soccer coach Don Fosselman had never won in his 30 years at the Big Reds helm — until now.

In fact, West Virginia landed two of the 2016 national high school coach of the year awards, the other being another longtime coach at one place in Wirt County head volleyball coach Janet Frazier.

Their names were announced on Thursday, but Fosselman didn’t find out about it until Friday. In fact, when PHS athletic director Chris Way called him to the school office, saying he had something from the WVSSAC, Fosselman quipped, “What did I do now?”

But when Fosselman found out it was to let him know of the national award, he was not only “amazed” and “flattered,” but also “truly humbled” as well as being “very appreciative beyond belief to receive such an honor.”

Fosselman, 67, had won mulitple state coach of the year plaques before, but this national award will probably take a prominent place in the Fosselman household.

His 2016 team wasn’t a state champion like many others before it, but they all were coached by Fosselman, who started the program at PHS in 1988.

All his players learn how to play the game, but he also taught them the “culture” of soccer. Fosselman too, although proud of his success, nevertheless gives most of the credit to his players, because “I was always blessed with good players,” he stated.

On a possible retirement in the near future, “I enjoy it too much yet,” he said. Plus, his grandson is still playing on the team too.

How Fosselman came to secure his national coach kudos, it came about through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association, which has been recognizing coaches through an rewards program since 1982.

Eight sectional representatives evaluate the state coaching award recipients from the states they represent and select their best possible national coach candidates from each sport.

After that, an advisory committee considers the lists of all the candidates and ranks them according to a point system before determining a national winner in each sport.