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Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette Golf Coach of the Year, Central's Mike Osterbur, at the UI Golf Courses in Savoy on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019.Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette Golf Coach of the Year, Central's Mike Osterbur, at the UI Golf Courses in Savoy on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019.

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Why he’s Coach of the Year

A two-time winner in his three years at Central, Osterbur oversaw a second-place team showing at the Class 2A Centennial Regional — the Maroons finishing one stroke behind champion Normal U-High. He also managed a roster that included two of the area’s best players, but also plenty of newcomers, into one of the toughest to defeat head-to-head.

Season highlights

“Just being able to go to the golf course and coach this group. That’s tops. Seeing our large group of freshmen, led by Wade Schacht, continually improve and learn about themselves as golfers and individuals. Watching Justin McCoy for one more season and seeing him battle through some swing issues to win medalist in the Class 2A regional and make it to the state finals for the fourth consecutive season. Seeing Cam Baker, a senior who couldn’t break 170 as a freshman, shoot 79 in the Class 2A regional. Winning three tournaments and finishing in the top 10 in 14 of our 16 tournaments this season.”

A few of my favorites

A sporting event I need tickets to see is the The Masters. Someone adopt me or put me in your will or something, please. And I’d like to see the Army-Navy football game someday, too. ... If I wasn’t a coach, I would be driving my wife crazy. ... My favorite motivational tactic is noting it’s a great day to be alive and to play golf. I tell my guys they get to go out and play the greatest game, and even if they do not fare too well on that particular day, they get to come back and try it again the next day. ... My favorite subject to study in school was journalism, followed by U.S. history. ... My favorite athlete is John Havlicek — “Jarrin’ John,” as Johnny Most called him. I realized his role on some great Celtics teams. He made everyone around him better on the court, and his work ethic was unmatched. No slow gear in his motor. More of today’s players could learn from watching and emulating Hondo. ... My favorite TV show is “M*A*S*H.” Great writing, great cast. ... If I could have dinner with any three people from any time period, they would be my father, whom I lost 15 years ago, my paternal grandfather, whom I never met, and Arnold Palmer. Steak with all the trimmings, and plenty of ice cream.

What I enjoy most about coaching

“Working with these young men and watching them improve as golfers, but most importantly as humans. They keep me feeling young at heart, and I try to impart some of my wisdom on them in return. It’s so rewarding to see the look on their faces when they make a breakthrough on the practice range and watching them take that to the course in competition. That’s what it’s all about.”

Honor Roll: Past News-Gazette All-Area boys’ Coaches of the Year

YEAR COACH SCHOOL

2019 Mike Osterbur Champaign Central

2018 Ben Richter Sullivan

2017 Mike Osterbur Champaign Central

2016 Jeff Butts Champaign Central

2015 Terry French Bismarck-Henning

2014 Mark Tate St. Thomas More

2013 Mark Tate St. Thomas More

2012 Terry French Bismarck-Henning

2011 Mike Wallner Centennial

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

Prep Sports Coordinator

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).