Philomath High's Joe Fulton won the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Oregon Coach of the Year award for girls track and field. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath High School’s Joe Fulton received a prestigious honor recently when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named him as its Oregon Coach of the Year for girls track and field.

The organization chooses only one coach as its winner from each state. Central Catholic’s Dave Frank was the boys track and field award winner.

Philomath High coach Joe Fulton poses with the trophy. (Photo courtesy of Philomath High School)

“I was pleasantly surprised,” Fulton said. “I was kinda expecting something like that from the Oregon Coaches Association but they haven’t announced those yet from last track season,” Fulton said — it’s routine that coaches of state champion teams win those awards. “Yeah, it was an honor because you know, it could have gone to a lot of different coaches.”

Fulton wasn’t even sure how the USTFCCCA decided to give them the award.

“They probably looked at the results from each state for every classification and maybe decided that Philomath’s victory with so many freshmen and sophomores was more impressive than the others, I don’t know,” Fulton said.

As Fulton suspected, state-by-state winners were selected based on their teams’ performances.

“Among the factors taken into consideration were team score and placement at the state championships, margin of victory, performance against rankings if available, individual championships and how their teams’ performances stacked up to previous years,” the organization said in a press release.

The organization’s eighth annual awards were announced back in July.

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.