Claude Toukene of Western Branch (Chesapeake, Va.) has been named the 2014-15 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Track and Field Coach of the Year.
The ALL-USA teams are coordinated by Fred Baer, the founder of Track and Field Writers of America. Boys selections are made by Jack Shepard, the high school editor of Track and Field News.
Name: Claude Toukene
School: Western Branch (Chesepeake, Va.)
Highlights: Toukene saw his boys and girls athletes at Western Branch (Chesapeake, Va.) set national relay records this season and two runners will compete for Team USA in this week’s World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia.
Micaiah Harris won the USA’s World Youth Trials in the boys 100 meters and Amanda Thomas qualified in the girls 800 meters.
Chesapeake teams won five relay events at last month’s New Balance Nationals, including the boys 4 x 100 meters. The Bruins set national records in the boys Swedish Medley (100, 200, 300, 400) and in the girls 4 x 100 shuttle hurdles.
Since taking the reins at Chesapeake in 2004, Toukene’s Bruins have won 13 Virginia state team championships in boys and girls track and have 10 second-place finishes. His athletes have won more than 50 state titles.
As an athlete, Toukene represented his native Cameroon as a sprinter at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games — after previously being selected to the Cameroon Under Age 17 National Team in soccer.
He has a bachelor of science degree in exercise science from Norfolk State and a master’s degree in education from Cambridge College. Toukene, 40, is fluent in five languages and is certified as a French instructor — but teaches special education at Chesapeake. He and his wife, Dr. Joann Toukene, have three children.