Swimming Coach of Year: Central's Ben Trupin
Why: In first season as a high school head coach, the 2000 Central graduate joined with co-head coach Will Barker in guiding his alma mater to team titles in the Bloomington Invitational, Twin City Championships, Big 12 Conference meet and IHSA Centennial Sectional. Trupin, 30, is in his second year as a special education teacher at Champaign Central.
Season highlight: "I have two; how our guys performed at the Big 12 and sectional meets. At Big 12s, everyone had season-best times. Many people had lifetime bests. Some of our JV guys dropped tremendous amounts of time at Big 12s, which was their big meet of the season. At sectionals, we advanced to state in two relays and three individual events. I also thought it was impressive that we only lost one dual meet all year. That was our first meet to Normal U-High. I think that kind of motivated them (the Maroons) to do better."
A few of my favorite things ... Jerry Seinfeld ... "The Big Lebowski" ... That's Rentertainment (and formerly Pages For All Ages) .... El Toro ... Michael Jordan .... Dodge Charger or the Batmobile
My bucket list ... See the Northern and Southern lights ... Walk on a glacier ... Climb a mountain ... Go to Japan ... and see the Cubs win a World Series
About Coach Trupin: "Ben always has this way of getting the team riled up before meets so we'd be ready and give it our all. He has a way of making the practices a lot of fun. He was able to joke around and keep you relaxed but also serious about your work. Ben definitely knows what he's doing from a technical standpoint. As with most of my coaches, I don't really see them as a coach. I see them as a guy that's a friend." — Maroons senior Sam Stewart