The ALFCA Coach of the Year Banquet is held at lunch on Saturdays and is one of the highlights of the convention.
The Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year awards are a great time for the award winners. The opportunity to be recognized by your peers for your hard work is important. From the beginning, the ALFCA wanted these awards to be special. The last thing we wanted was to just call out your name and have you accept your plaque and leave like you were in line at McDonalds.
The awards are presented by a member of the ALFCA board. They gather the information and put together a short explanation as to why this coach was the award winner. In addition to a plaque, the winners receive a Coach of the Year ring. There is time for family and friends to take pictures and share in the moment. One of the best parts is to watch the faces of the wives and family, who are truly proud of their coach and had so much to do with allowing him to have won the award.
ALFCA has always loved to award the assistant coaches, who often toil in the background. For some, it may be the only professional award they ever receive.
One of the strange things about these coach of the year awards is that very few people are nominated. In fact, in one assistant coach classification this year there was no nominations at all. The ALFCA is going to allow next year for the forms to be filled out on line to make it a little easier to nominate.
This year’s winners included Paul Benefield of Fyffe and Terry Curtis of UMS Wright. Both have won multiple championships but never won the award. Darrell LeBeaux of Pleasant Grove won the 5A Coach of the Year award with a school record 13 wins and the school’s second championship appearance. Neal Posey is a young assistant at St. James, winning the 3A Assistant Coach award for his ability to do so many things behind the scenes to help his team and head coach.
Each year ALFCA awards scholarships to children of coaches and seniors who plan to enter the coaching field. There were 13 in all this year and that number continues to grow. The best part is listening to the stories of these young people and the passion they have for their futures.
If you have never attended the ALFCA Coach of the Year Banquet, please do so. Or at least nominate someone next year and you may find you have a reason to attend.