Michael Bardgett, a 2003 graduate of Austin College, has been named as this year’s recipient of the Kedric Couch Coach of the Year Award.

The award is bestowed annually by Austin College to a distinguished alumnus who has excelled in the field of coaching at the high school, college, or professional level during the last academic year.

Bardgett, the head girls’ cross country and track and field coach at Melissa High School, has built one of the top cross country programs in Texas in his first three years in that position. He also serves as an assistant coach on the girls’ basketball team.

After guiding Melissa to a University Interscholastic League Class 2A runner-up performance in cross country in 2011-2012, Bardgett continued his program’s successes as they transitioned to Class 3A this year. Over the course of the year, his cross country team captured the District 12-3A championship and finished third in Class 3A Region II, while also placing ninth at the state championship.

During the track and field season, Bardgett guided his team to a District 12-3A and Area 12/13-3A title, and the team finished eighth at the 3A Region II meet. One of his runners qualified for the state meet, where she placed fifth in the 800 meter run.

A native of San Antonio and a graduate of East Central High School, Bardgett was an outstanding athlete in his own right, starring in basketball, cross country, and track and field in high school. He was also a member of the Posey Leadership Institute while at Austin College, and after graduating he went on to receive his Masters degree in International Development from George Washington University. He then spent a year abroad in Africa, where he was involved in several development projects.

In addition to his coaching duties, which include a program for the Melissa elementary school, he is also a highly respected AP World History teacher at the high school. Bardgett is also developing a leadership course at Melissa in conjunction with Austin College.

Bardgett will be honored with this award at the annual Austin College Legends Gala, taking place on July 13 in the Sid Richardson Recreation Center in the Mason Athletic Complex on the campus of Austin College.