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KHQA Awards Week Final: DAVID KIRBY, 2017 Coach of the Year

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2017 KHQA COACH OF THE YEAR

DAVID KIRBY, Monroe City

RATIONALE: No vote needed or necessary here this year. Monroe City’s state title made this a no-brainer and returns David Kirby to the winner’s circle for the second straight season. As always, I had other contingencies formed, just in case, to spotlight some of the region’s better storylines and the men who engineered them: David Roddis, Ethan Allen, Tony Shiffman most notably joining the venerable “old guard” of perennial contenders here. Take nothing away from any of those gents because in any other year, they all could have had considerable traction here. A perfect season, however, shuts down all else. Especially when that achievement comes with the added burden of fashioning such a run while wearing the biggest bull’s eye in the state as the number one team in Class 1. Kirby and his staff avoided all the usual pitfalls: complacency, jealousy, graduation losses, and injury issues to keep his guys on task and focused through the ups and downs of the Fall. It was really a masterful job and hewn not just of fine men who run the show, but of a very fine group of young men who trust their coaches implicitly to direct their fates. I’d also argue, in full candor, that coaching football in Titletown is not an easy job. Dale Labuary set an incredibly high historic bar. His former players, comprise a large part of a fan base not only know football at a different level than most crowds but are passionate and vocal in expressing their opinions about the program they love. That doesn’t always make for the easiest dynamic when you are the head coach, especially one who comes from outside the Monroe Family to coach. David Kirby handles that pressure well; defusing it with hard work, southern charm, and a sense of self-deprecating humor. That’s the best possible shield of armor; outside of course to restoring the TitleTown “vibe” to full prominence in a sports crazed community, from here on out..

Runner-Up: ETHAN ALLEN, Clark County

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Past Winners:

2016: David Kirby, Monroe City

2015: Kevin Krietemeyer, Unity/Payson

2014: Blake Logan, Van-Far

2013: Kevin Miles, Palmyra

2012: Brad Dixon, Central

2011: Rob Wilt, South Shelby

2010: Tom Little, Brown County

2009: Jimmy Tucker, Bowling Green

2008: Rich Thompson, Concord Triopia

2007: Jayson Campbell, Keokuk

2006: Mark St Clair, Hannibal

2005: Kent O'Laughlin, South Shelby

2004: Pete Claas, Macon

2003: Randy Dickens, Quincy High

2002: Jim Unruh, Carthage

2001: Mark St. Clair, Hannibal

2000: Par Pitts, Palmyra

1999: Jim Unruh, Carthage

1998: Tony Merryman, Pleasant Hill

1997: Jay Wessler, Concord Triopia

1996: Dale Labuary, Monroe City

1995: Kent O'Laughlin, North Shelby (Missouri Winner)

Jim Unruh, Carthage (Illinois Winner)

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