The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) is reporting that Dr. Kyle Pierce has been awarded Coach of the Year for the entire West African country of Ghana, as voted on by Ghanaian sports fans. Pierce and Ghana’s weightlifting team received awards from two institutions: the Ghana Sports Fans Awards and the Sports Writers Association of Ghana Awards.
Pierce is widely known to American Weightlifting fans as the Head Coach and Director of the High Performance Center at Louisiana State University, Shreveport. He has been the meet director of many national events for USAW during this time, and several Pan American Championship events have been held in his facility. In addition, he is the coach of Kendrick Farris, a three-time Olympian for USA Weightlifting.
Since 2014, Pierce has been a central figure in developing Ghana’s Olympic Weightlifting Program. He initially went to Ghana as part of the Olympic Solidarity Program and he trained 27 coaches. He has served as the head weightlifting coach for Ghana at several prominent international competitions, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland and the 2016 African Championships in Cameroon. In Cameroon, Pierce helped Ghana earn 1 men’s spot at the Olympic Games in Brazil, where he served double duty as the Head coach of Ghana and athlete Christian Amoah as well as coaching Farris on Team USA.
Most recently, Pierce has led the Ghana National Weightlifting Team to the 2016 Commonwealth Championships in Penang, Malaysia, this past fall, where they won two gold medals, one silver, and a bronze medal. This was their most successful international competition in recent memory.
Ghana is the 2nd country in 2016 to award Dr. Pierce with a coach of the year award. On January 6th of this year, USAW awarded him with the Gayle Hatch coach of the year award for 2016, which is awarded to the coach of the top male athlete in USAW.
Other award winners from the Ghana Weightlifting Federation at the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG), which is voted on by all Sports Journalists in the country of Ghana, included:
- Christian Amoah was voted the Male Weightlifter of the Year.
- Ruth Baffoe, a bronze medalist at the African Championships, was awarded Female Weightlifter of the Year.
- Richmond Osarfo, a 17 year old youth athlete who placed 10th at the 2016 Youth World Championship, was voted for as the Sports Discovery of the Year
- GWF President Ben Nunoo Mensah was awarded The Sports Federation President for the Year 2016.
Featured image: IWF.net. Dr. Pierce is second from the right in the second row.