Boys' Track Coach of the Year: Jeff Butler, Monticello

Why: Guided the Sages to a third-place finish in the Class 1A state track and field meet. The school's first state trophy in the sport completed a bookend performance by the Sages. In the fall, Butler's boys' cross-country team also placed third at state.

Season evaluation: "We didn't go into the season talking about winning a state trophy. As the season progressed, we started to realize we stacked up pretty well against other teams. This group of athletes performed in the big meets as well as any team we have ever had."

A few of my favorite things: Monticello Sages ... Eastern Illinois University ... Track and field, cross-country and basketball ... Body 'n Sole and Farm & Fleet ... Texas Roadhouse and Bob Evans ... GMC Truck ... "Uncle Buck" and "Rudy" ... "Andy Griffith" ... First job was baling hay and walking beans ... On my Bucket List, go to the Drake Relays, attend a meet at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., and attend the NCAA basketball Final Four.

About Coach Butler: "He is passionate about running and coaching. When I started running, being around him made me want to be a better runner. He helped motivate me, telling me what I needed to do. He is so knowledgeable and knows how to train each of us individually. He has a lot of activities for team bonding, which I like as well." — Monticello senior Tim Easton

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