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DeVries RMAC Coach of the Year

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By Dave Kavanaugh

The program’s head coach since its inception, New Mexico Highlands University’s women’s track and field mentor Bob DeVries was named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the just-concluded indoor track season.

True to form, DeVries shared the credit with those around him.

“Thank you to all who have sent congratulations my way,” he said via Facebook post. “Any coach who gets a ‘coach of the year’ award needs hard-working athletes, great assistant coaches and a supportive family. I am blessed with all three (I) love my job and (am) trying to build something special at HU.”

DeVries coached the Highlands women to second place in this past weekend’s RMAC championship meet held at Black Hills State in South Dakota. It is the highest finish to date for the women’s track and field program in the conference meet.

DeVries, the longtime head coach of the school’s cross country teams, has now earned coach-of-the-year acclaim in both sports.

NMHU garnered 108 team points in the RMAC women’s indoor championships, second only to national title contender Adams State (181) in a 10-school field.

Helping the Cowgirls secure the runner-up finish were individual wins by Danisha Phipps (indoor pentathlon) and Jillisa Grant (long jump).

Highlands’ Destiny Dilworth was honored as RMAC Freshman of the Year. The Yuma, Ariz., native was second to teammate Phipps in the indoor pentathlon, fourth in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump.

Dilworth, Phipps, Grant, CiCi Cordova, Deandra Nelson and Sheneika Rochester all earned All-RMAC recognition for their performances over the weekend by placing among the top six in individual events.

Grant (long jump, 60-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash) and Phipps  (pentathlon) have qualified for the NCAA Division II indoor nationals March 7-9 in Birmingham, Ala.