They don't come often, but when they do, Kyle Smithpeters is very welcoming.
For the third time in his tenure as head coach at John A. Logan College and for the second straight year, the Harrisburg native was recognized by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and named NJCAA Division 1 Coach Of The Year.
"It's a great honor," Smithpeters said. "Obviously, without great coaches and really good players none of these awards are even possible. I'm also fortunate to be at John A. Logan College and have the support of the administration and teachers. That's how coaches receive these kinds of accolades."
Of notable names, Smithpeters joined University of Illinois' Brad Underwood on the list of college coaches that were honored.
More than two dozen area high school and middle school coaches were honored as well.
Receiving IBCA high school boys Coach Of The Year honors were: Lee Bennett (Centralia), Tyler Buss (Mt. Carmel), Joe Hosman (Massac County), Aaron Fiene (Steeleville), Wayne Harre (Nashville), Scott McElravy (Fairfield), Todd Trip (Goreville), Bob Waggoner (Pinckneyville) and Wendell Wheeler (Cobden).
IBCA high school girls Coach Of the Year awards went to: Doug Althoff (Nashville), Janiece Blake (Meridian), Tonya Conrad (Fairfield), Justin Kindle (Massac County), Jeff Lonnon (Mt. Vernon), Rick Metcalf (Vienna), Todd Rogers (Carterville), Seiger Shurtz (Christopher), Andy Sloan (Benton) and Clint Winemiller (Hamilton County).
Junior high boys Coach Of The Year awards were handed out to Doug Harris (Centralia), Russ Hobbs (Christopher), Irv Lukens (Our Lady Of Mt. Carmel, Herrin), Eric Messmer (Goreville) and Will Reiburg (Nashville).
Harrisburg's Marty Nicholes was one of four junior high girls Coach Of The Year winners, joining Teresa Cash (Goreville), Beth Palmer (Vienna) and Darron Rushing (Johnston City).
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.