Coach of the Year: Randy Blackman, Urbana

Coach of the Year: Randy Blackman, Urbana

Why he's Coach of the Year: In his 32nd and final season leading the Tiger boys' program, Blackman assembled one of his finest squads. The Tigers (16-5-3) fell one win shy of the program's fourth sectional crown, capturing their 11th regional championship in the process. His team produced three first-team All-Big 12 Conference selections and The News-Gazette's Player of the Year, senior Bennett Anderson.

Season highlights: Winning our tournament, I enjoyed that a great deal. Winning a regional title, that was nice. I thought we played real well in that game. I thought we played well in both games that we played Normal Community and Normal West. We ended up drawing both of those games, but I thought we played very well against those teams.

A few of my favorites ...

Food: spaghetti or steak

First car: 1972 Toyota Celica

Favorite non-sports hobby: I like working in my yard, and I like to mow my lawn.

Favorite restaurant: One is Outback Steakhouse, the other is Olive Garden.

Dream vacation destination: Hawaii.

Favorite sporting event I've attended live: In 1994, I watched Spain play Bolivia for the World Cup up at Soldier Field. That was one of the most enjoyable athletic events I've ever been at.

Favorite college sports team: Illinois. I'm still upset about not winning a national title (in 2005).

Favorite band/musician: Toby Keith.

Three things on my bucket list: To go to Hawaii and take my wife there, to be able to have a family vacation someday where everyone in my family can be there and to go to Europe.

What I enjoyed most about coaching: "I enjoyed watching young boys turn into fine young men, and young girls turn into fine young women. I really feel blessed that I've had the opportunity to coach so many wonderful people. It's been my pleasure, believe me."