Earlier this year, the IHSA staff selected the individuals listed below as the Illinois Coaches of the Year in their respective sports. Coaches of the Year are selected based on the results of the 2017-18 school year, as well as other elements such as career success, sportsmanship and contributions to the sport.
State coaches of the year then complete further information for the NFHS, which a national committee reviews before selecting eight Section winners in each sport and one National winner in each sport. Illinois is located in NFHS Section 4 along with Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Congratulations to all of the Illinois Coaches of the Year, as well as the four individuals who were selected by the NFHS as Section Coaches of the Year, including Hinsdale Central girls lacrosse coach Dan Hartman, Naperville North boys soccer coach Jim Konrad, Charleston girls golf coach Deb Landsaw, and Hoffman Estates girls bowling coach Dan Pfligler.
A complete list of honorees and reflections from the Section Coaches of the Year:
Dan Hartman, Hinsdale Central, Girls Lacrosse
"Credit for this award must be given to my assistant coaches, players, and supporters of the Hinsdale Central Girls Lacrosse Program. It has been a goal of our program to become one of the premier girls lacrosse programs in the country. This award signals that through the hard work of our players, coaches, and supporters we are on our way to achieving that goal."
Jim Konrad, Naperville North, Boys Soccer
"Being recognized as the NFHS Coach of the Year for Illinois is one of the highlights of my career. Being selected by organizations like the NFHS and the IHSA is incredibly meaningful to our soccer program and school due to the high standards they set for coaches and athletes. Naperville North truly appreciates and is humbled by this wonderful honor."
Deb Landsaw, Charleston, Girls Golf
"I have always tried to promote sports for people of all ages. My main focus has been on getting young people involved in something to get them active and something they can do for their whole lives, however I have also formed ladies teams in the sports of golf, bowling, and softball with the same intent for adults as well. I really like a quote from Vince Lombardi which sums up my belief for the benefits of being in sports. 'Individual commitment to a group effort...that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work'."
Daniel Pfligler, Hoffman Estates, Girls Bowling
"I am very privileged and honored to be selected as one of the NFHS Section Coaches of the Year. This honor means a great deal to me as it shows me that I was able to be a positive role model to many high school bowlers over the past 10 years as a head coach. For the school, it is an honor to present a positive hard-working image to the school that I coach at. For the program, it shows students that the coaches are dedicated to this program and do their best to make it better each year and to help not only the girls be better bowlers, but better people every year."
2018-19 NFHS ILLINOIS COACHES OF THE YEAR
Girls Bowling: Dan Pfligler, Hoffman Estates *Section Winner*
Girls Golf: Deb Landsaw, Charleston *Section Winner*
Spirit/Dance: Kristin Piekarski, Stevenson
Softball: Greg Blakey, Mt. Zion
Girls Water Polo: Amy Martello, Lane
Girls Volleyball: Ronda Schlechte, Windsor
Girls Track & Field: Pat Garst, Dunlap
Girls Tennis: Robert Smith, Leyden
Girls Swimming & Diving: Christian Rhoten, Edwardsville
Girls Soccer: Mark Longo, Quincy Notre Dame
Girls Gymnastics: Steve Gale, Glenbrook South
Girls Cross Country: Kara Leaman, Tolono Unity
Girls Lacrosse: Dan Hartman, Hinsdale Central *Section Winner*
Girls Basketball: Sarah Meadows, Geneva
Football: Dennis Piron, Batavia
Boys Water Polo: Tim Daniel, Conant
Boys Volleyball: Kristopher Fiore, Lincoln-Way East
Boys Track & Field: Jay Ivory, Lake Park
Boys Tennis: Bill Wham, Lyons
Boys Swimming & Diving: Scott Walker, Lyons
Boys Lacrosse: Rob Snyder, Loyola Academy
Boys Gymnastics: Greg Gebhardt, Wheaton Warrenville South
Boys Golf: Mark Longo, Quincy Notre Dame
Boys Soccer: Jim Konrad, Naperville North *Section
Boys Cross Country: John Sipple, Downers Grove North
Boys Bowling: Brad Sommer, Hononegah
Boys Basketball: Joe Muniz, Belleville West
Baseball: John Darlington, Plainfield North
Badminton: Matthew Long, Metea Valley
Wrestling: Israel Martinez, Montini Catholic