TAMPA — Land O’ Lakes High cross country coach Kris Keppel is up for a national award recognizing his coaching.
Keppel is one of 25 finalists for the Brooks 2014 Inspiring Coach of the Year Award. As of Thursday, he was in first place to win with more than 12,600 votes.
Keppel, who has coached for 20 years, was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer last September and gets chemotherapy three weeks each month. He continued to coach, and in 2013, led the Gators boys cross country team to a sixth-place finish at the state meet.
As a finalist, Keppel received $5,000 in Brooks gear and $500 for team expenses for this season and the finalists were invited to the awards ceremony in Seattle, where the winner will be announced Tuesday. If Keppel wins, he’ll get an additional $5,000 in Brooks gear, $2,000 for team expenses and a trip for two to the Brooks PR Invitational next year.
To vote for Keppel, go to: www.facebook.com/brooksrunning