Coach of the Year: Hsiung Marler, Centennial
Why: Eighth-year head coach guided Centennial to a third consecutive regional championship and its fourth in five years as well as a third-place finish in the Big 12 Conference.
Season highlight: Directed the Chargers — who had three underclassmen from 2011 unable to play this spring — into the sectional finals in Class 2A, where they finished as one of the top 16 teams in Class 2A. Centennial was eliminated by eventual fourth-place state finisher Normal U-High.
A few of my favorite things: Diehard Cubs fan ... North Central College ... all sports ... El Toro, Destihl, Minneci's, Black Dog, Maize ... Raiders of The Lost Ark ... The Daily Show ... First job was washing dishes at a Ponderosa ... Favorite quote is from the movie, "The Grey": "Once more in the fray, into the last good fight I shall ever know, to live or die this day."
About Coach Marler: "I've been around here 10 years and he has been my coach since I moved here (from Rochester). I've never had a bad experience with him. He's very motivational. He should become an inspirational speaker. He knew how to push us when we weren't working hard; and when we were working hard, he knew how to keep us going. He is more laid-back (than a fiery coach), but when people say someone is laid back, a lot of times it's misunderstood like they don't care. He's one of the most caring coaches I've been around." — Centennial senior midfielder Meaghan McLennand