Coach Dave Tibbetts selected as FACA ‘Coach of the Year’

This story was originally published in the third edition of The Lion’s Tale (January 31st, 2022).

Oviedo High School’s Dave Tibbetts was recently selected as one of three recipients of the Coach of the Year award by the FACA Hall of Fame committee. Tibbetts’s outstanding work in his seven years coaching the OHS cross country and track and field teams along with his wife, Michelle Tibbetts, has set the school’s programs apart from those of other Florida high schools. In the 2021-2022 school year alone, Oviedo’s cross country team qualified for both regional and state meets.

According to Tibbetts, he has been a runner his whole life and wanted to share his passion through coaching cross country and track and field. 

“I’ve met the best people through running and seen some of the most beautiful things while out on a run,” said Tibbetts. “My favorite part by far is the lifelong friendships I’ve developed with my athletes and their families.” 

Not only does Coach Tibbetts get to spread his love of running with Oviedo students almost everyday, but he gets to do it alongside his wife. 

“I mean, how cool is it that we get to share this together?” said Tibbetts. “She loves running and is a great coach. I think we make an awesome team together! It’s so fun to be able to share this with each other.” 

Tibbetts was shocked to find out that he won the Coach of the Year award. 

“It was a complete surprise and I am deeply humbled to be recognized by the FACA Hall of Fame committee and my fellow coaches,” Tibbetts said.  

Despite the individuality of the award, Tibbetts explained that he didn’t earn the title on just coaching alone. 

“Well, yeah, I was given this award, but honestly I believe it should be a ‘team award’. Everyday the guys and girls on this team worked incredibly hard- and it paid off,” Tibbetts said. “When everyone else counted us out, we defied the odds and the guys’ team ended up as District Champions.” 

Back in October during the cross country season, the OHS boys team earned 1st place to win the district and the girls placed 5th, qualifying both teams for the regional meet. At regionals, the boys managed to finish in 8th place to qualify for the state meet and the girls placed 14th. 

Oviedo High School has exceeded expectations and had a successful cross country season. They mentored the students on the team who were willing to put in the work to make the journey from Oviedo to Tallahassee for the state championships. 

“The success of this team is really due to the great leadership of our captains, Ellen Cocurull, Sophie Johnson, Connor Kracht and Connor Densberger,” Tibbetts said. 

With Tibbetts as FACA Coach of the Year, the Lions track and field team are positioned for a successful 2022 spring track season.