2017 All-Area Boys' Golf: Coach of the Year

2017 All-Area Boys' Golf: Coach of the Year

Coach of the Year: Mike Osterbur, Champaign Central

Why he's coach of the year: Osterbur was an assistant for the Maroons' seventh-place finish in Class 2A a year ago, and in 2017, when he took the reins as head coach, he led the Maroons to a fifth-place finish and a 28-stroke improvement. The Maroons also took home Big 12 and Class 2A Champaign Central Sectional titles.

Season Highlights: "Qualifying as a team for state and finishing fourth in Class 2A at the state finals obviously is tops for the season. Winning the Class 2A regional and sectional tournaments, along with winning the Big 12 Conference tournament, were right up there. We entered 15 18-hole tournaments this season, winning five, finishing second in five and third in two others. We never finished lower than sixth place in any of those 15 tournaments. That was quite an achievement. "

A few of my favorites ...

Favorite food(s): Anything the American farmer can grow or raise to be put on my plate is tops with me. With the exception of cooked spinach. Yuck.; First car: 1974 Plymouth Satellite, four-door. Sky blue. Paid $2,600 for it, used. Drove the wheels off it. Sold it five years later for $500.; Favorite non-sports hobby: Travelling with my wife — flying, driving, cruises, whatever. Also gardening, photography, writing and reading; Favorite restaurant: Too many to pin down a single favorite. For a pizza, Monical's. For a burger, Farren's. For barbecue, Black Dog; Favorite/Dream vacation destination: Snorkeling in Aruba. Going back to England, Ireland and Scotland, specifically to St. Andrews, and bring the clubs this time. Also, back to Germany to see the old country, again; Favorite sporting event attended live: Indianapolis 500. Been to every one since 1976. Held the same two seats since 1986, (Paddock, Section 13, Row CC, seats 19 and 20); Favorite college/pro teams: Obviously, my old employer from whom I am retired from, the University of Illinois, in good or bad times. Also, South Carolina Gamecock football, the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals. And, to divert, if I were a little older and although not a team but a person, Champaign's own Don Branson in his prime. A great race car driver hardly nobody in Champaign-Urbana has ever heard or known about; Favorite band/musician: So many to choose from. Doobie Brothers, either with Tom Johnston or Michael McDonald fronting them, Crosby, Stills, Nash and sometimes Young, The Band. Glenn Miller Orchestra with Johnny Mercer on vocals, Tom T. Hall and Miles Davis.

Three things on my bucket list: Attend the Masters golf tournament, learn how to sail and crew a vessel at sea and attend a Steelers game at Heinz Field with my two sons and grandson.

What I enjoy about coaching: "Hopefully being instrumental in helping high school-aged boys not only transform into good golfers but as even better young men. Being able to pass on what I've learned about the great game of golf to these young men, within the context of competition, seeing whatever success they enjoy — as a team or individually — is very rewarding to me, personally. Hanging around these young guys makes me stay young, at least young at heart. Now, if I could just get them to sit down on a bus trip and listen to some Doobie Brothers or Little Feat."

Coaches of the Year

2017-Mike Osterbur, Champ. Central

2016-Jeff Butts, Champaign Central

2015-Terry French, Bismarck-H.

2014-Mark Tate, St. Thomas More

2013-Mark Tate, St. Thomas More

2012-Terry French, Bismarck-H.

2011-Mike Wallner, Centennial