Coleman Wins International Hunter Education Association Award

DNR Lt. Tim Coleman Wins International Hunter Education Association Award
An Award in Recognition of Success Against Health Obstacles.

West Virginia DNR
West Virginia DNR

West Virginia – -( Lt. Tim Coleman of the Law Enforcement Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) recently won the prestigious Darrell Holt Memorial Award, presented by the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA). Lt. Coleman is the state coordinator for DNR’s Hunter Education and Boating Safety programs. The award was made in recognition of his courage in overcoming a life-threatening illness.

In May 2008, Lt. Coleman was attending the IHEA conference near St. Louis when he became ill. He was found unresponsive in his hotel room and was rushed to a hospital. “The doctors did not think I would make it to morning and called my family to fly out to be with me,” Coleman said recently. “They were told there was a very good chance that I would pass before they arrived. I had a massive septic infection that had affected my organs and was slowly shutting them down.”

However, Coleman fought to survive and spent the next five months in five different hospitals, including Cleveland Clinic, where he had a kidney removed. He was left virtually paralyzed in his extremities and was confined to a wheelchair for another month. Following several more months of physical therapy, he was able to get around on his own and returned to work in March 2009, nearly a year later.

“I even requalified with my weapon and am now at full duty status,” Coleman said. “My family and I could not have made it without the support of DNR and the volunteers in the Hunter Education and Boating Safety programs.”

The Holt Memorial Award is named for former Texas Hunter Education Coordinator Darrel Holt, who was diagnosed with leukemia in the early 1970s and was told he would succumb to the deadly disease within six months. He lived for 17 more years after a valiant fight, all the while undergoing experimental treatment and drugs. Despite his terminal illness, Holt established an outstanding program in Texas.

“This award recognizes the hunter education coordinator or administrator who is working or has worked under conditions that call for a determination to succeed despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles such as physical disabilities, working conditions, accident, disease, personal hardship, etc.,” explained IHEA executive director Wayne East.

Coleman was unable to attend the 2009 IHEA conference, so the award was presented to him in Charleston by DNR Director Frank Jezioro.