Interview: Tyler Stepp
NEW ORLEANS— Brothers Tyler and Tanner Stepp (Jefferson City, Tenn.) received postseason honors from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Tuesday morning as Tyler was named the Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season and Tanner was awarded the region's top field athlete for the 2016 indoor season.
"This award is just a testament to our program and where we are going," Tyler Stepp said of the Assistant Coach of the Year honor. "The way coach [David] Needs and I look at it is the awards are for our whole program and not just me."
Each of the eight regions across the country honored both genders' top track athletes and field athletes, and the top men's and women's head coaches and assistant coaches.
As a whole, the coach's long jumping athletes finished the regular season ranked 11th nationally in the Association's event squad rankings.
"It's all about having the right people around you. As a whole, we have a great group of support staff from the head coach to the administration and most importantly, the athletes," Tyler Stepp said. "They [athletes] know what they want to do and they know they want to get better. If they are willing to work with me then together we can make that happen."
Younger brother Tanner Stepp completed his sophomore campaign as one of the nation's best high jumpers after posting a career-best mark of 2.14m at the Camel City Invitational on Jan. 29. Currently ranked sixth in Division II, the jumper holds the C-N program record in the event while also finishing first in the Southeast Region.
"The one thing Tanner has done well this year is paying extra attention to the things that he knows he can do better," Tyler Stepp said of his younger brother. "We have been working to get him better and to not just stay with what we have been doing even though it's been working. We are going to try and minimize the little problems in his jumps and keep him healthy. Hopefully he will take a good swing at it this weekend."
Both Tanner and Tyler Stepp will be present this weekend at the indoor nationals starting Friday, March 11 in Pittsburg, K.S. The two will be working together as the younger Stepp brother will be trying to top his 2.07 meter mark he set last year as a freshman at the Indoor Championships.
"Our jumpers and all of our athletes have taken a big step forward this season and as we move forward, I hope we can continue to keep winning awards for our team," Tyler Stepp said. "It's an honor and something I am proud of."
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