September 27, 2016 | Updated: January 29, 2019

By Heather Crabill

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) officially announced its statewide Coach and Athletes of the Year for 2016 on Tuesday. Among the five honorees named, Clara Edwards (Monahans) has been named the organization’s Coach of the Year. 

The 87-year old Edwards, will be formally recognized at an awards ceremony on Friday, Oct. 14 in Bryan/College Station during the 2016 SOTX Fall Classic competition.  

Edwards got involved with SOTX in 1986, and she is still coaching. She has served SOTX in a multitude of capacities in the Permian Basin/Big Bend area as Head of Delegation, through fundraising efforts and even transporting athletes. She will stay at an event until every athlete has been picked up or she will give them a ride home herself. Edwards continues supporting children’s activities through her church and community as well as being a SOTX coach at a time when most adults would be retired.

“Mrs. Edwards has worked with the Special Education students here in Monahans for over 25 years and she continues to love her athletes and push them beyond their wildest dreams,” said Daniel Sharp, Monahans High School assistant principal. “For most of these student-athletes, Mrs. Edwards is the most positive part of their day and lives. These athletes look forward to every moment they can spend with her.” 

“Clara loves and knows each athlete as well as their family,” said SOTX volunteer Connie Harris. “There is not a single athlete on our team that doesn’t love her, each one strives to please her— and believe me, Clara expects the best.” 

Outside of SOTX, Edwards works with special education students at Monahans High School. She has also taught a preteen girl’s Sunday school class and a kindergarteners Bible study. 

Awards for Male and Female Athlete of the Year went to Brendan West (Pasadena) and Kylie Tyson (Canyon) for the 15-21 age group. Kyle Eddlemon (Missouri City) and Julia Kilgore (Wichita Falls) were honored for the 22+ age group.