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Area coaches pick up postseason hardware


 
By Spyder Dann mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 5/11/2020 11:28 AM

Area coaches were bestowed some offseason accolades this past weekend when the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association announced its Coach Of The Year recipients.
Harrisburg native and John A. Logan College men's basketball coach Kyle Smithpeters picked up his second IBCA Coach Of The Year honor in the college division, joining nine other coaches including Illinois' Brad Underwood.
This past season, Smithpeters and the Vols were 28-5 and won the Region 24 Tournament. The Vols were headed to the NJCAA Tournament in Hutchison, Kansas when the season was abruptly ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the prep level, eight boys coaches and five girls coaches picked up IBCA honors.
On the boys side, Benton's Ron Winemiller joined fellow SIRR Ohio Coach Daryl Murphy (Murphysboro) in picking up IBCA awards.
Winemiller and Benton were 27-8 this year, knocking off Fairfield in the Carmi-White County Regional. Murphy and the Red Devils were 27-8 and upset Pinckneyville.
Pinckneyville's Bob Waggoner, along with SIRR Mississippi's Wayne Harre also got COY honors. The Panthers were 28-4 and state ranked throughout the season in the Associated Press poll, while Harre and the Hornets were 28-7.
Carbondale's Jim Miller, Goreville's Todd Tripp, Cobden's Wendall Wheeler and Woodlawn's Brian Gamber round out the remaining COY winners.
Miller and the Terriers were 23-8, while Tripp and the Blackcats were the area's lone representative at this past year's IHSA Class A Tournament, finishing 35-2 overall, but never playing at the tournament because of the COVID-19. Wheeler and the Appleknockers were 24-9 and Gamber led Woodlawn to a 31-4 record before resigning at the end of the season to become the new men's basketball coach at Rend Lake College.
On the girls' side, Harrisburg's Jake Stewart picked up his fourth straight IBCA award and his fifth overall after leading the Bulldogs to a 29-5 record and a regional win, beating Anna-Jonesboro at the Vienna Regional.
Joining Stewart was Eldorado's Scott Artman, who helped lead the Eagles to a 25-4 record.
Caterville's Matt Crain, Nashville's Doug Althoff and Mike Helton, of Goreville, also won COY honors.
Crain led Carterville to a third place finish at this past year's IHSA Class 2A State Tournament and the Lions were 35-2 overall. Crain resigned at the end of the season, compiling an overall record of 181-40 in seven years and won a regional in all seven of those seasons.
Althoff led Nashville to a 24-10 record, while Helton and Goreville were 22-10 this past season.

Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.