Melissa Rose Howard was named the National Federation of State High School Associations State Coach of the Year for Boys Swimming and Diving at the 2017 UIL 5A State Swimming and Diving Championships held February 17 and 18 at the Texas Swim Center in Austin.
The National Federation of State High School Associations bestows this prestigious award to one coach in each sport for each state association. Recipients reflect excellent coaching abilities on and off the athletic arena.
"Your service to the state of Texas has not gone unnoticed, and we are very proud to have positive role models, like yourself, impacting our student-athletes," University Interscholastic League Director of Athletics Susan Elza wrote in a letter to Howard. "Thank you for representing your team, school, community and the University Interscholastic League in a manner that is to be commended and celebrated."
Howard began her career with Frisco ISD and Wakeland High School in 2006. Until this school year, she also taught science classes at WHS. This year she has worked full time at the Bruce Eubanks Natatorium.
“We are extremely proud of Coach Howard and the Wakeland High School swimming program,” said Assistant Athletic Director Grace McDowell. “The program has been very successful under her leadership. Coach Howard serves as a great mentor and does a fantastic job of building positive relationships with her swimmers.”
Howard was a four year varsity letterman in swimming and a two year varsity letterman in soccer in her home town of Del City, Oklahoma at Del City High School. She swam competitively beginning at age six.
She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. She returned to adult competitive swimming in Master’s swimming and triathlon competitions. She began her coaching career in Birdville ISD before coming to FISD.
During her years in coaching in FISD, she has garnered many awards. Her teams and individual swimmers have also had great success, including nine individual boys state champions, four individual boys state record holders and one individual girls state champion. See below:
- 2010 – Boys District and Region champions
- 2011 – Boys District and Region champions, first top 5 finish at state - 4th place
- 2013 – Boys District and Region Champions, State Runners-up
- 2014 – Boys 5A State Champions
- 2015 – Boys District Champions, State Runners-up
- 2017 – Girls Region Champions, 5th place at state
Coach Howard’s previous coaching awards include:
- Boys District Coach of the Year: 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015
- Boys Region Coach of the Year: 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015
- Boys State Coach of the Year: 2013, 2014