Bruce Benson spent thirty years as a teacher and coach at Madison High School and is one of the most well-respected speech arts coaches in the state of Idaho. After working as a teacher and coach at Grantsville High School in Utah for one year, Bruce moved to Madison in 1986. He was a 9th grade assistant football coach for four years, the head speech coach for twenty-seven years and the head debate coach for twenty-five years. In addition, he served numerous terms on the Idaho Speech Arts Teachers Association executive board as well as the District VI Board of Control. Over the course of his career, Bruce helped modify how the State Debate tournament was scored and was instrumental in bringing Congressional Debate to Idaho’s schools. His teams placed in the top four at State Speech and State Debate an amazing eleven times with his debate team winning two state titles (2014 and 2015) and his speech team winning one (2018). Bruce received many awards over the course of his career including Debate Teacher of the Year, Speech Teacher of the Year, Speech Arts Teacher of the Year and the NFHS Outstanding Speech Arts Educator award. He was inducted into the ISATA Hall of Fame in 2010.
During his thirty-six years in education, Randy Potter has impacted literally thousands of young people across the state of Idaho. He started his career at Kimberly High School in 1986 teaching business and PE and coaching football, track and basketball. After eight years in Kimberly, he moved to Homedale and spent eleven years there as a teacher, coach and eventually, athletic director. He served as Skyview’s AD for one year before being named Columbia High School’s AD when it opened in 2006. Randy would finish his career at Columbia in 2022. Throughout his stellar career Randy worked diligently to bring a sense of community and pride to his schools and also served as a mentor and role model to countless coaches and AD’s working in our schools today. He has received numerous awards for his dedication and service including five Coach of the Year awards, six district Athletic Director of the Year awards and four state Athletic Director of the Year awards. Randy earned the IHSAA Dick Fleischmann award in 2021, the NIAAA Distinguished Service award in 2022 and was inducted into the IAAA Hall of Fame in 2023.
Cary Cada’s exemplary thirty-six-year career began in 1979 at Capital High School. Cada spent his first year in coaching and education as a varsity boys’ basketball assistant under legendary coach Charlie Henry. After that first year, Cada moved to Cascade High School, serving four years as a teacher, librarian and track and basketball coach. Cada came back to the Treasure Valley in 1984 taking a job at Borah High School, a place he would remain until his retirement in 2016. Working as a teacher, coach and eventually a counselor at Borah, Cada impacted hundreds of students and notably, an entire generation of basketball players. Cada’s basketball teams qualified for State sixteen times, played in seven championship games and won four state titles. He was named District Coach of the Year eight times and State Coach of the Year four times. He also coached golf for more than ten years with his teams qualifying for State nine times. Cada is a true advocate for education-based participation and a mentor to young coaches in Idaho.
John Gregory spent the final twenty-seven years of his career at Nampa High School. He was the head coach for three varsity sports for sixteen of those years, coaching girls’ basketball, softball and volleyball from 1988-2004. Prior to coming to Nampa, Gregory taught at Melba High School for five years and coached boys’ and girls’ basketball and field hockey, where his team went undefeated and beat Meridian High School in the Mythical State Championship. The final eleven years of his career, Gregory served as Nampa’s athletic director. With a total of forty-one years in education, Gregory became a statewide role model for coaches and athletic directors alike. He was, and continues to be, extremely involved in the Idaho Athletic Administrators Association, holding numerous leadership positions within the organization. He has received numerous awards from the IAAA as well as the NIAAA and the IHSAA. Gregory received the NIAAA Citation Award in 2011 and the IHSAA Distinguished Service Award in 2014.
Dave Mills is one of the most prolific and influential cross country and track coaches in Idaho history. He served the students of Idaho for forty-one years and worked in all levels of education from elementary school through post-secondary education. He spent the majority of his career working as an elementary physical education specialist with the Boise School District while also coaching cross country and track at Boise High School. He coached ten state champion cross country teams, two state champion track teams, eleven individual cross country champions and forty-four individual track champions. Mills was instrumental in numerous IHSAA cross country and track policy changes including the addition of the hardship rules for state qualifiers and adding wheelchair/para-athletes to the state track meet. Mills continues to volunteer as a collegiate cross country coach.