FARMINGTON — After leading Aztec to back-to-back state titles, Anna Strauss has been recognized as one of the top track coaches in the state
Strauss was named the girls' track and field Coach of the Year by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association on June 29.
"It's a huge honor. I'm really humbled," Strauss said when she found out about the award on Wednesday.
Strauss led the Lady Tigers to their first championships in school history during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
"We have great, great kids and great assistants. We all work together as a family and as one cohesive unit," Strauss said.
With Strauss' guidance, Aztec had four individual championships this season. Sarah Root (triple jump and 100-meter hurdles), Morgan Smith (pole vault) and Kayli Farmer (high jump) each won events for the Lady Tigers on the way to the state crown.
In the past two years, Aztec had 10 individual state champions.
Strauss was quick to credit the work of the assistant coaches and the athletes within the Aztec program as the reason for the team's success.
"They're the ones who should be getting recognized," she said.
As for the outlook on a three-peat for the Lady Tigers' track team, Strauss said it will be difficult, but she believes her team has the talent to win another championship in 2015.
"It was tough this year. It came down to the very last race, and it could be the same next year," she said.
Strauss was one of three San Juan County high school coaches to be recognized by the NMHSCA. Farmington's Gary Bradley (football) and Bloomfield's Greg Shoemaker (wrestling) also won the top coaching honor in their sports.