Girls cross country: Gee named national coach of the year

Wilton High School cross country and track coach Jeff Gee was recently named the National High School Athletic Coaches Association national coach of the year in girls cross country.

National coaches of the year in 16 boys and girls sports were honored during a banquet at the NHSACA convention in East Peoria, Ill, on June 21. Gee was one of eight national finalists for the girls cross country award, with the other finalists coming from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The National High School Athletic Coaches Association is the oldest coaches association formed by coaches, for coaches, in the nation, and has recognized national coaches of the year since 1978.

Gee was selected for the national honor by Connecticut’s High School Coaches Association. He was then selected as the nominee from District I comprised of the New England states and New York.

The selection is based on longevity, service to high school athletics, honors, championship years, and winning percentage.

This was the second time in the past eight years that Gee has been one of the eight finalists for national coach of the year honors; he was also a finalist in 2009.

Gee last fall completed his 29th season as head coach of the girls cross country team. The Wilton girls have placed top three at the FCIAC championships in 24 of the past 28 seasons, including eight FCIAC titles (1990-94, 2002, ‘08,and ’10) and seven FCIAC second-place finishes.

Since the 1989 season, Wilton teams under Gee have earned a 385-50 record in dual meets, including nine undefeated seasons and 15 FCIAC East Division titles.

On the state level, the Wilton cross country girls have finished first or second at the class meet 20 times in 28 years, with four Class MM titles (1991, ’93, ’94, ’02) and four Class L titles (2009, 2011-13). They have won three State Open titles (1990, 1991 and 1992) and two State Open second-place finishes, and two second-place finishes at the New England Cross Country Championships.