David Kirk (2024)

Ed Barker Recipient

About David Kirk

Coach Kirk played an integral role in the writing, organization, and implementation of the “Ohio Plan” as it is referred to by the United States Olympic Committee Paralympic Division which has become a national model for other states looking to provide opportunities for disabled athletes to compete in track & field. Since the introduction of this program, a seated athlete has taken to the track or throwing events at the State Championships over 600 times with many earning not only All-Ohio awards, but also recognition by the USOPC as All-American. Several have gone on to earn spots on international Team USA events as well as participated in the Rio and Beijing Paralympics. Inducted into the Ohio Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Chagrin Falls High School HOF in 2017, Dave brings 42 years of coaching experience during which time his program achieved a state-wide reputation for competitive excellence. Under his tenure, 84 athletes earned All-Ohio recognition and 19 athletes qualified to the National Championships. His teams also won a State Championship and two State Runner-up titles. During this time, he served as the District 2 representative for Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties for eight years and was the editor of the OATCCC newsletter, The Runner, for eighteen years. On the state and national levels, Dave continues to serve as a liaison between the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches, the Ohio High School Athletic Association, and the United States Olympic Committee Paralympic Division helping to promote the awareness, understanding, and participation of disabled student athletes in high school sports. He has served the OHSAA on the State Rules Advisory Committee and as a three-time member of the State Championship Games Committee. A published author, including an article in Olympic Coach, Dave has presented at the USOC National Leadership Conference, participated in the National High Performance Summit held by the USOC at the University of Illinois, and presently serves as a coach and clinician for the Endeavor Games in both Oklahoma and Indiana. Additionally, Dave continues to volunteer his time to the Department of Defense Warrior Games and has worked with each of the individual service branches in hosting this event that promotes the successful recovery and reintegration of our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans through adaptive sports competition. For fun - and in his spare time - he has served as a member of the pit fire/safety team for IMSA, NASCAR, and the Indy Car series as well as other racing events held over the past six years. Dave currently teaches English at Galion High School and can be reached at kirk800m@gmail.com

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