Provided Champaign Central boys' swimming and diving co-head coaches Dave Young, white shirt, and Jason Maddux, gray shirt, address team members after the Maroons won February's Centennial Sectional.

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Why they’re co-Coaches of the Year

Young and Maddux, the co-head swimming coaches and Gantzer, the diving leader, teamed up to guide the Maroons back to the top of the local sectional team championship chase, also helping Central earn five individual and two relay berths at the state meet. Central also won the Twin City Meet during the regular season among Champaign-Urbana programs and placed an area-best third during the 10-team Big 12 Conference Meet that concluded the regular season.

Season highlights (from Young)

“Coming to the pool every day, watching our kids work hard, have fun, get faster and become great teammates was the biggest highlight for me. The first week of practice, our captains asked if they could have a “swimmers-only” meeting to set the tone of the season. “They embraced the process, set goals and made great strides. When we swam well at the St. Charles North Invite and held our own against the state champions, I realized how much the kids had improved. Seeing the whole team contribute to win the Twin City and our JV swimmers getting second at the Big 12 Championships was nice. “At sectionals, every one of our swimmers swam a personal record for the season and contributed to the championship. Having six kids advance to state and do well at Evanston was a great way to finish the season. Working with coaches that genuinely care about each of our kids was an additional highlight. “Jason Maddux is a very talented, hard-working coach. Co-coaching with him was an honor. “I am grateful for MEG Gantzer building up our dive program, as well as our volunteer coaches, Scott Garreau and Tommy Lockman, working with our swimmers. I am most appreciative of getting to coach 31 great kids who represented Champaign Central with class.”

A few of my favorites

A sporting event Maddux needs tickets to see is a World Cup soccer match. ... If Gantzer wasn’t a coach, she would be a graphic designer. I took many art classes in high school, but never really had time outside of school to get involved. I am trying to make art one of my hobbies. ... Maddux’s favorite motivational tactic is hard work. Challenging my athletes every day allows them to build confidence in themselves in the pool and in life. At the beginning of the season our swimmers may panic when I write a set up on the board, but after a while they learn they can be pushed outside their comfort zone, and they can elevate their training in ways that will allow them to reach their goals. ... Gantzer’s favorite subject to study when she was in school was biology. I graduated from the University of Illinois in 2018 with a bachelor’s in integrative biology, and I am currently a second-year veterinary student at UIUC. ... Maddux’s favorite athlete is currently Megan Rapinoe. Growing up, Chris Chelios. ... Gantzer’s favorite TV show is “The Blacklist,” “Dexter” or “Prison Break.” I highly recommend all three. ... If Maddux could have dinner with any three people from any time period, he would pick Larry David, Mel Brooks and Tom Waits.

What Gantzer enjoys most about coaching

“Allowing kids an outlet away from school. In high school and college, diving, cheer and tumbling were my outlet, and now in veterinary school coaching is my outlet away from studying. I also love seeing the athletes set goals and accomplish those goals within a season.”

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


2020 Dave Young, Jason Maddux and MEG Gantzer Champaign Central

2019 Dave Young Champaign Central

2018 Courtney Lehmann Centennial

2017 Dave Young Champaign Central

2016 Will Barker Champaign Central

2015 Tom Lockman Champaign Central

2014 Tom Lockman Champaign Central

2013 Ben Trupin Champaign Central

2012 Ben Trupin Champaign Central

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

Prep Sports Coordinator

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