Jim Haney named Assistant Coach of the Year

Published 7:12 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

First award designated for track


By Savannah Howe

A longtime Albert Lea coach has been named Section 1AA Assistant Coach of the Year. 

Email newsletter signup

The Tiger’s cross country head coach and assistant track coach, Jim Haney has been with the school since 1989. In his many years of coaching Albert Lea athletes, Haney feels fortunate to be part of such remarkable teams. 

“Jasmine Hansen and Kevin Gentz run great programs,” Haney says. “I appreciate that they have confidence in me to work with these exceptional athletes.”

While he’s been coaching track for nearly a decade, this is his first award designation for the sport; he was named Big Nine Coach of the Year in cross country approximately 10 years ago. 

Haney thinks his athletes appreciate his upbeat, but focused and organized, training style and approach. 

“I have tried to keep it as fun and as loose as we possibly can, but we still get our goals accomplished,” he says. “I train the distance team, so they’re dedicated athletes and they know what’s expected of them.”

The 2022 track season wrapped up with track on Thursday. Haley’s outlook for the 2023 season is positive as he is looking forward to improvement in the athletes through continued weight lifting and training. 

After this year’s successful section meet, he hopes to see more runners motivated to move on to state next year. 

“I’m asking these young men and women to run a long way, and that takes perseverance, drive and dedication,” Haley says. “Those are all things that you need in the real world to have a great life. Running’s not easy, it’s not always fun. But I have special athletes. They enjoy how hard it is and seeing their goals being reached, and that’s a special thing for me to see them reach the goals that they have.”