The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee has this week announced the winners of the 2019 Team USA Awards Presented by Dow. The awards recognize the achievements of Team USA athletes, teams and coaches. USA Triathlon’s Wesley Johnson (Sandy, Utah) was named Paralympic Coach of the Year for his achievements coaching US elite paratriathletes to international success in 2019.
Johnson was honoured during a live recording of the Team USA Awards Presented by Dow, Best of the Year ceremony, held on Tuesday night at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. The awards show, hosted by Olympic wrestling champion Jordan Burroughs, will be televised from 14:00-15:00 ET on Sunday, December 22, on NBC.
“Receiving this award is an incredible honour,” Wesley Johnson said. “Honestly, I’m still processing it all. I still feel like I’m just getting started. I still feel like I have so much to learn. There are so many incredible coaches in the Paralympic movement who I know and respect who would deserve this award. Thank you to all of the athletes who put their trust in me and for USA Triathlon for the opportunities they have given me.”
“Wesley is incredibly deserving of this honour, after a standout season in which he guided several US elite paratriathletes to breakout performances on the world stage,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO.
“Beyond his 2019 achievements, Wesley sets an example for multisport coaches across the country day in and day out. His work ethic and individualized dedication to his athletes makes Wesley a truly world-class coach, and I know his work will continue to pay dividends as we head into the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic year.”
Johnson served as an assistant coach for the US team at the 2019 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. In that role, he guided Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Illinois, PTWC), Allysa Seely (Glendale, Arizona, PTS2) and Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas, PTS4) to silver medals, and five additional US elite paratriathletes to top-five finishes.
Johnson also coached the US team at the ITU World Paratriathlon Series event in Yokohama, Japan, where American athletes earned three gold medals, two silvers and one bronze. Additionally, he is the personal coach of Grace Norman (Cedarville, Ohio, PTS5) and Chris Hammer (Salt Lake City, Utah, PTS5), who each ended their seasons ranked number 3 in the world, and Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Md., PTVI), who finished the season ranked number 8 in the world in just his second year as an elite paratriathlete.
Johnson leads a squad of elite, junior elite and paratriathlon elite athletes as the founder and Head Coach of Balanced Art Multisport in Salt Lake City. He is a USA Triathlon Level II, Youth & Junior and Paratriathlon certified coach.
For coaching awards, US National Governing Bodies selected their nominees as part of the USOPC’s annual coach of the year recognition program, and the winners were determined by a USOPC selection panel of coaching and sport performance professionals.
In addition to Johnson, USA Triathlon was also represented at the Team USA Awards by Allysa Seely and Kendall Gretsch, who were both named finalists for Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year after strong seasons in which they each claimed silver medals at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships.