All-Area Boys' Cross-Country Coach of Year: Monticello's Dave Remmert
Why he’s Coach of the Year: First-year head coach directed the Sages — who earned a No. 1 state ranking during the regular season — to Okaw Valley Conference, regional and sectional championships. Monticello finished an area-best third in the Class 1A state meet, led by all-state junior Matt Norvell.
Season highlights: “I think our runners would agree that beyond our state trophy, our greatest highlight for both the boys’ and girls’ teams was winning the First to Finish Invitational (in Peoria) the second week of the season. It was at that moment that I think both of our teams started to believe, and you have to believe to achieve. To bring home two first-place finishes in a 50-school invitational was phenomenal and such a great credit to the kids and our program, which extends way beyond me,” Remmert said.
A few of my favorites: Pizza, is there anything better? ... Favorite restaurants, Giordano’s Pizza, Texas Roadhouse, Olive Garden and Los Toros ... Last text to one of our sanitarians at the Health Department I serve ... First job was as a News-Gazette paper carrier with my brother Rick. I learned part of my work ethic from that early lesson. Regardless of how I felt, the papers had to be delivered ... Role models, Jesus Christ, my mom Sandra, my dad Rich and my brother Rick ... Coaching role models, Jeff Butler, Dike Stirrett, Gary Wieneke and John King ... Favorite entertainer, Audrey Duncan ... Favorite books, “Unbroken” by Linda Hillenbrand; “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer and “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair ... Favorite athletes, Craig Virgin, Sebastian Coe, Mary Cain, Louis Zamperini, Dick Butkus, Walter Payton and Pete Rose ... I’m driving, Pontiac Vibe, Dodge Grand Caravan because real men who are comfortable with their masculinity drive mini-vans ... Favorite TV shows, “Blue Bloods” and “Elementary” ... If I weren’t doing this, I see myself trying to figure out how to use the gifts, talents and loves of my life to serve others in some way that’s congruent with my personality so that I can be fully engaged ... Three things on my bucket list: win a state championship, climb every 13,000-plus-foot mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park and run a marathon with my two daughters, Hannah and Sophie, and maybe some other former Sages runners, too.
About Coach Remmert: “Coach always tried new ways of motivating us every day. He tirelessly looked for new things to say and do. It was always really nice to hear about some of the experiences he had as a young runner in high school. Some were funny. Some were very serious and applicable, and it helped to know that he had gone through the same kind of obstacles that we do. He always did a great job of taking our ideas into consideration as well. He made the atmosphere in practice open and welcoming, and I’d say that really contributed to our successes in a major way.” — Monticello senior Jesse Galaway