For the first time ever, on behalf of the national mortgage lender Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans®, FloSports is honored to name both Mike Eierman and Pam Kitchen the 2019 recipients of the Hometown Hero Award. They will each receive $25,000 to put toward a year’s worth of mortgage payments.
We are overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and engagement that our community poured into honoring both coaches, and are thrilled to give them the recognition they truly deserve.
Mike Eierman, from Fulton, Missouri, has been a wrestling coach for 17 years and has coached some of the best wrestlers in the Midwest, including J’den Cox, who was recently crowned World Champion. Mike puts his wrestlers before himself, which is recognized by the dozens of young athletes who travel hundreds of miles to train at Eierman Elite Wrestling Club. Whether it is teaching a new takedown, or buying wrestling gear for those in need, Mike goes above and beyond to support his club. He is considered by many to be more like a father than a coach.
Pam Kitchen, from Panama City, Florida, has been a staple in the gymnastics world for over 40 years. A cancer survivor, an award-winning coach, and a role model for every young gymnast that passes through Edgewater Gymnastics Academy, Pam perseveres through every challenge with a positive mindset. In 2018, Hurricane Michael devastated Pam’s gym, a place that meant so much to her and her community. The gym needed to be rebuilt from the ground up, but this did not stop her from overcoming yet another obstacle and continuing to coach so many amazing young athletes.
Both Mike and Pam exemplify what it means to be a Hometown Hero. They teach their athletes to respect their friends, families, competitors, and communities. They believe their athletes are more than just athletes, they are tremendous human beings who shine both on and off the mat.
Back in March, FloSports conducted a nationwide search for coaches who provide the fundamental groundwork for athletes to excel, and who exhibit an ability to build strong communities by showing the importance of teamwork, goal setting, and work ethic. Over 1,000 coaches were nominated across 20 different sports and narrowed down to five finalists. We are extremely proud of Mike and Pam and thrilled to honor them both as 2019 Hometown Heroes. Not only will Mike and Pam each receive $25,000, but FloSports will offer the other finalists Joe Gamache, Shelby King, and Damon Harrison, $2,000 each for the tremendous work they have done and continue to do in their communities.
We thank everyone who nominated a coach for the 2019 Hometown Hero Award and congratulate all of the nominees across the country for preparing and encouraging today's athletes to excel on and off the field, court or mat.
Check out the amazing stories of all five nominated coaches here.