Kevin Kearney
Kevin Kearney

South Winneshiek cross country coach Kevin Kearney is the 2020 recipient of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Golden Plaque of Distinction Award.

The IGHSAU’s Golden Plaque of Distinction honors the Iowa coach who has demonstrated a successful career while making notable contributions toward school, community and the coaching profession. Kearney will be honored before the start of the Class 1A awards ceremony at Saturday’s Iowa State Cross Country Meet in Fort Dodge.

This year (2020) marks the 27th year that Kearney has coached cross country and track. He started the cross country programs in 1994 and since 2002, has teamed with Scott Conway to handle the cross country duties as co-coaches.

His boys and girls cross country teams have qualified for a total of 23 state cross country meets. His boys teams won state crowns in 2006 and 2008, had two runner-up finishes while three additional teams placed in the top four. His 2016 girls team was the state runner-up while the 2015 team placed third.

His girls track and field teams captured state championships in 1997 and 1999 while placing second in 2005 and third in 2006 and 2018. In total, over 230 South Winneshiek student-athletes have qualified for the state meet in cross country and track under his tutelage.

Kearney has served on the Girls Track and Field Advisory Committee and the joint Cross Country Advisory Committee. His is a member of Iowa Track and Field Coaches Association and has been a finalist for the both the boys and girls National Coach of the Year. He has been named the IATC state coach of the year four times.

Kevin, a native of Cascade, resides in Calmar with his wife Ruth Ann and three stepchildren.