One of the greats is taking a well-deserved break.

Dan Kuiper, the all-time winningest high school track & field coach in Arizona, is stepping down as head coach of Valley Christian’s track & field program in order to assume the responsibilities of Valley Christian principal for 2014-15.

Kuiper has been the head track and field coach for 28 years and has won 26 Arizona state track and field championships during that time.

He also served as the cross country coach for a period of time, capturing a state championship in boys cross country as well.

"Coaching track has been a wonderful experience for me," Kuiper said in a statement. "Through this coaching experience, I have grown as a person and it has been such a natural avenue to know students on a different level."

The girls track programs are considered one of the best programs in all of Arizona sports.

Valley Christian won a national-record 15 consecutive girls state track titles from 1996-2010.

Kuiper was honored twice as National Coach of the Year and was inducted into the National High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

"Dan embodies the mission at Valley Christian," Trojans athletic department Dan Haagsma said. "He is an incredible teacher of sport and has done an remarkable job of increasing the athleticism in our student body and preparing them for college and beyond, both on and off the track."

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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