N-G girls' soccer coach of the year: Mahomet-Seymour's Joey Gruner

N-G girls' soccer coach of the year: Mahomet-Seymour's Joey Gruner

Why he's Coach of the Year: For the third consecutive season, Gruner keyed the Bulldogs to a Class 2A regional championship — this time without star scorer Meredith Johnson-Monfort, who was injured late in the title match. Gruner's squad defeated all local teams while compiling a 21-3 record and came up just short of a sectional semifinal victory despite Johnson-Monfort being sidelined.

Season highlights: "Two wins over two tough area teams, coming from two goals behind each time. Finishing first for the first time in the Apollo Conference championship race. And the regional championship win over Normal U-High."

A few of my favorites: A concert/sporting event I need tickets to see is the final of the 2018 World Cup. ... If I wasn't a coach, I would, well, we will find out over the next year. ... My favorite go-to motivational tactic(s), this is not one of my strengths. I try to instill a constant inner motivation for the players rather than a series of highs and lows. ... My favorite subject to study in school was sports administration. ... My favorite athlete is any athlete who plays by the rules and puts the success of the team over individual aspirations. ... A movie I have to see is whatever the next movie my wife, Angie, wants to see in the theater. ... My favorite TV show is "American Pickers." ... If I could have dinner with any three people from any time period, I would pick any of my ancestors prior to 1900, an average family in the Mayan city of Copan, and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (only if it was at the same time and they couldn't talk).

What I enjoy most about coaching: "Seeing student-athletes use the experiences of winning and losing, and of working for something bigger than themselves, as they move on in life and apply what they have learned to other areas of their lives."



2018 Joey Gruner Mahomet-Seymour

2017 Joey Gruner Mahomet-Seymour

2016 Jim Meissen Centennial

2015 James Johnson St. Thomas More

2014 Joey Gruner Mahomet-Seymour

2013 James Johnson St. Thomas More

2012 Hsiung Marler Centennial