IHSSBCA Coach of the Year

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The IHSSBCA Coach of the Year Award is a group of individuals honored for their excellence in all forms of coaching. Criteria for winning this award can include having a successful season, program building, at-large community assistance, as well as upholding high standards of sportsmanship & camaraderie.[1]


The first class of honorees were in 2018. Each class is honored at the IHSSBCA Spring Banquet.


Every year three coaches are selected. One representing "Class A", one representing "Class AA", & one at-large recipient from either class.

Each award is individually named & dedicated after the following:

  • Karen Niemeier Award (A): in the spirit of Karen Niemeier who over three decades coaching at Winnebago built a premier program, hosting several tournaments, & setting the standard for quiz bowl in Northern Illinois
  • Tom Durbin Award (AA): in the spirit of Tom Durbin who founded the MacArthur program in the 1980's and built them into a powerhouse & leading program in the Illinois quiz bowl community during the 1990s & early 2000's
  • Beth Young Award (At-Large): in the spirit of Beth Young whose award-winning tenure at Quincy created numerous coaching trees across the state in the activity's earliest years


Year Award Inductee School Notes
2018 A Matt Hasquin Southwestern for building Southwestern into a small-school Illinois & national powerhouse
2018 AA Mike Woolley Sandburg for driving student leadership & ownership within Sandburg's program
2018 At-Large Mike Laudermith Fenton establishing Fenton as a competitive program nationally at PACE & HSNCT, statewide mentor & leader to fellow coaches
2019 A Brant Trimpe Williamsville for leading Williamsville to multiple stop-finishes at both IHSA & Masonic while continously building up his program for the future
2019 AA Mike Sorice Centennial for Mike's deep involvement within the quiz bowl community & successfully coaching Team Illinois as well as his own program at Centennial
2019 At-Large Erin Limestall New Berlin for New Berlin's resurgence as a small-school power in the Springfield area including a Masonic State Championship
2020 A Kristin Burns Keith Country Day for honorably filling the shoes of previous coaches and still delivering the passion required to maintain the program
2020 AA D. Matthew Jordan Lincoln-Way East for elevating Lincoln-Way East to the top of the Southwestern Suburban Conference to compete against the likes of Homewood-Flossmoor & Sandburg
2020 At-Large Josh Bartels Lincoln for enthusiastically taking on the hosting duties of many local & regional tournaments for mid-state teams including all IHSSBCA tournaments, SchoBowlFest, & Masonic
2022 A Jorge Sanchez Elgin Academy for not only creating but building a quality small-school program at Elgin Academy
2022 AA Jaime Pamatot Granite City for elevating the Granite City program to a frequent attendee in the regional Southern Illinois circuit
2022 At-Large Jeff Price Barrington in recognition of Barrington's 2021 NAQT HSNCT national championship, Price's second national title
2023 A Shanna Covarubbias Metro-East Lutheran in recognition of Metro-East Lutheran's emergence as a challenger in Southern Illinois
2023 AA Nevagay Abel Auburn in recognition of leading Auburn to its third IHSA State championship & continuing the legacy of Hall of Fame mentor, Linda Greene
2023 At-Large Mark Taylor Walter Payton in recognition of building Walter Payton into an emerging challenger out of Chicago Public Schools
2024 A Kristin Strey Winnebago
2024 AA Jenny Norman East Peoria
2024 At-Large Trevor Stanley Johnston City

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