A Special Olympics coach from Pittsburg's New Hope softball team was named a finalist for the 2012 Special Olympics North America Coach of the Year.
The award is given annually to an active certified coach who meets several criteria including impact on their athletes, program and community.
John Lair has coached the New Hope Bulldogs for 18 years. He helps his athletes in many ways including helping them integrate into the community by teaching communications classes.
"I am not one who likes to have a pat on the back or whatever," says Lair. "I do it because I love the athletes and I love working with them. I was excited in the fact that it gives exposure to our program that is kind of how I felt."
"He is a great coach and he has made an impact on my life," says Cody Pierce, a New Hope softball athlete. "He is just great and I am glad he that he is my coach."
Lair has also been asked to serve on the 2012 Special Olympics North America Coaching Dream Team.