Alta’s Mitchell Honored As National Coach Of The Year
Feb 27, 2015 02:02PM
● By Ron Bevan
Alta soccer coach Lee Mitchell is known for his accomplishments throughout the years. Now he has another few other coaches have achieved.
For the second time in 10 years, Mitchell has been named National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
“I feel very blessed and honored,” Mitchell said. “It all goes back to the kids that I have been able to coach. They are the reason I get any recognition at all.”
Mitchell received the 2014 NFHS Coach of the Year honors for his work with the boys’ team at Alta. He had previously won the award on the girls’ side.
Mitchell is unique in Utah high schools in that he coaches both the girls in the fall and then the boys’ team in the spring. He is also the only head soccer coach in Alta’s history to do so.
“We are grateful to have him coach our students,” Alta Principal Brian McGill said. “It’s pretty unheard of for a coach to stick around at the same school for decades and provide the top tier output he has for these kids. It just goes to show his dedication and years in the program.”
Mitchell is going into his 32nd year as Alta’s soccer coach. He began coaching the boys’ team when soccer became a sanctioned sport in 1983. He added the girls’ team in 1989 when girls soccer became a sanctioned high school sport.
During that time, Mitchell has led Alta boys teams to state 5A titles in 1990, 1992, 1997, 2006 and 2011. He has added an additional eight state titles in girls soccer.
“Even though he has had so much success, he has stayed very humble,” McGill said. “He gives all credit to the kids and their cohesion and unity as a team. He is genuine and still gets amped up for every game. He is emotionally invested every time one of his teams takes to the field.”
Mitchell retired from teaching at Alta after the 2014 school year. However, he has chosen to continue coaching both the boys and girls for the foreseeable future.