Lexington Special Olympics cheerleading and gymnastics coach Mary Fehrenbach has been named the Special Olympics North America Coach of the Year for 2011.
Fehrenbach was selected from among 16 nominees and five finalists for the honor. She is the first Kentucky Special Olympics coach ever to win the award.
Fehrenbach was nominated for the award by Special Olympics Kentucky after being named the organization's Coach of the Year for 2010.
"We are all so thrilled that Mary has received this well-deserved honor," said Special Olympics Kentucky Executive Vice President Trish Mazzoni.
"Like all of our coaches, she has dedicated so much of her time to benefit our athletes, but Mary's commitment has been almost full-time since she joined our program."
Fehrenbach has been a Special Olympics coach for 18 years. Since moving to Lexington, she has helped build gymnastics and cheerleading programs that have served as national models. Her Elite Showcats cheerleading squad helped pioneer special needs cheerleading programs, and her athletes have traveled the country performing in competitions and exhibitions.