Football Coach of the Year: Tuscola's Rick Reinhart
Why he's the choice: The 34-year coaching vet, in his fourth season at his alma mater, directed the Warriors to a 7-2 mark during the regular season before a postseason run that ended with a loss to Dakota in the Class 1A state championship game at Memorial Stadium. In four seasons at Tuscola, Reinhart has led the Warriors to the state championship game three times, with one championship.
Season highlight: "I could choose from a lot of things: the win at Brown County (in the semifinals), the win at (Central) A&M in the playoffs. But no doubt getting back to Champaign and playing for the ultimate prize at Memorial Stadium was the highlight. It's great working with great kids and a great staff. That stuff is what it's all about."
A few of my favorite things: Ribeye steak ... my son Brian ... Hank Williams Jr. ... "Field of Dreams" ... The Beef House ... 1966 Pontiac GTO ... to win another state championship ... to go to a Super Bowl ... participate in the RAGBRAI ride across Iowa with my sister Pam
About Reinhart: "He does an unbelievable job getting us prepared. He makes sure we know exactly what to do and where we're supposed to be. Defensively, he let Coach (Andy) Romine and (Pat) Pierce and (Ted) Minger take care of things, but he has a great feel for the offense. I had a connection with him off the field, as well. Whether it was getting some film or just a question he was always there and easy to get a hold of. The last two years I think he kind of started having a little more fun and joking around with us off the field, but he always made sure we were focused and got what we needed to do done. Our senior class was a real loose group, and we got him to joke around and tell stories that he hadn't done before." — senior linebacker T.J. Onstott