Coach of the Year: M-S' Joey Gruner

Coach of the Year: M-S' Joey Gruner

Why he's coach of the year: In his sixth year as Mahomet-Seymour's head coach, Gruner already has surpassed the 100-win mark and has four regional titles. The Bulldogs racked up a 19-4-1 record and another Class 2A regional championship this season, and they may only get better next year, when they bring back an impressive core.

Season Highlights: "The 4-3 come-from-behind win against Normal U-High on a goal with less than one minute left to play and our 3-2 win against Pekin, which was our 19th win of the season and broke our school record."

First car: 1968 metallic green Pontiac Tempest convertible

Favorite non-sports hobby: directing Mission Roatán, a non-profit organization for people in Honduras

Favorite restaurant in Champaign/Urbana: Texas Roadhouse

Favorite/Dream vacation destination: For snow, the Rocky Mountains in Colorado; for sun, Central America

Favorite professional/college team: Illinois women's soccer

Favorite band/musician: Def Leppard

Favorite moment as a soccer coach: "Arriving home after a tough loss, being greeted by a jumping, excited golden retriever and my loving wife, and realizing there are many more important things in life than one particular soccer game."

Three things I enjoy about coaching: 1. When a former player communicates that being a part of the program meant something more than soccer. 2. Learning more about the game so I can lead the team through the next challenge. 3. Parents and players who appreciate a "team-first" philosophy.

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