2018 N-G baseball Coach of the Year: Tuscola's Duff Hoel

2018 N-G baseball Coach of the Year: Tuscola's Duff Hoel

Why he's Coach of the Year: In his eighth and final season helming the Warriors, Hoel helped produce an impressive team showing. Tuscola climbed to third place in Class 2A behind a 38-4 season, capturing the third piece of state hardware in program history, all of which came during Hoel's tenure. He also mentored his leadoff hitter, starting shortstop and son, Dalton Hoel, who is The News-Gazette's All-Area Player of the Year.

Season highlights: "Thirty-eight wins is pretty special. Third place in state, pretty special. We didn't have any grade issues, which is always good. We didn't have any disciplinary issues, which is always good. We had a good group of seniors. When I look back on the playing time, we were able to really get a lot of guys some experience going forward for next year."

A few of my favorites: I need tickets to see the Chicago Cubs in Game 7 of the World Series at Wrigley Field. ... If I wasn't coaching, I would be market president at Tuscola's First State Bank. This is what I set out to do. This bank has been very supportive of me coaching baseball. ... My favorite go-to motivational tactic is telling kids they've got to be self-motivated. If I've got to yell and scream at kids, they're not doing their job and I'm not doing mine. The one thing I try to use more than anything is probably humor. I find that kids need to be loosened up a little bit. ... My favorite subject to study in school was math. Probably mostly due to a math instructor named Richard Kidwell at our high school who not only was a great teacher, but he instilled humor in anything he did, and he still does. ... My favorite athletes are all of my Tuscola baseball players. I sure like watching Javy Baez play, too. ... A movie I have to see is I'm not a big movie guy. I say a movie I have to see is whatever my wife wants to see. ... My favorite TV show is when I catch a Cubs game. I don't watch TV, but I do watch the Cubs if I get an opportunity. ... If I could have dinner with any three people from any time period, I would pick Joe Maddon, Pete Rose and Ty Cobb while with my wife, Dedee, and my sons, Dillon and Dalton.

What I enjoy most about coaching: "The relationships, honestly. I've been doing this 27 years. I went to a wedding Saturday night for one of my former players. It was nice for them to come up and say, 'Hey, Coach, congrats. You had a great year this year. We've been following you.' It's the relationships you establish that are lifelong relationships."

Honor Roll: News-Gazette Baseball Coaches of the Year:


2018 Duff Hoel Tuscola

2017 John Staab Champaign Central

2016 Josh Haley St. Joseph-Ogden

2015 Ryan Remole Centennial

2014 John Staab Champaign Central

2013 Gary Hansgen Salt Fork

2012 Duff Hoel Tuscola