Local coaches and athletes were honored Thursday night in downtown Kansas City for their commitment and achievements in sports.
The 46th Kansas City Sports Awards Banquet, hosted by the Kansas City Sports Commission, celebrated several honorees including Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II.
“I’m really glad to be here and represent the Chiefs,” Mahomes said. “The future (for Kansas City sports) is bright.”
Kansas City Sports Commission named Mahomes as the Sportsman of the Year. The star quarterback was named the 2018 NFL MVP and led the organization to an AFC Championship game this past season.
Receiving an award next to Mahomes was Northwest Missouri State men’s basketball coach Ben McCollum. The 10-year Northwest Missouri State men’s basketball coach was named the Burns & McDonnell Coach of the Year.
“Anytime you get ‘Coach of the Year,’ its a team award, essentially. It’s an award everyone shares in,” McCollum said. “We are very humbled by it and very excited about it as well.”
McCollum’s Bearcats finished the season 38-0 with the program’s second NCAA Division II National Championship.
“My ‘Coach of the Year’ award is when we won the national title; when we won a conference championship. That’s what means the most to us.” McCollum said.
McCollum said the biggest thing he strives to do as head coach is to recruit not just good players, but good people.
“I found that if you get enough good people you can be successful,” McCollum said. “That’s what we’ve tried to aspire to and then we treat those people well and generally you’ll have success.”
Stanford volleyball champions Jenna Gray and Audriana Fitzmorris were named Sportswomen of the Year.
Mahomes was once in the shoes of the younger athletes who were honored Thursday night.
“I remember how special that was for me. I still have those trophies today so I know it’s a big moment,” Mahomes said.
Chris Browne of the Kansas City T-Bones was honored as the Executive of the Year. William Jewell assistant softball coach Paige Parker was named Community Champion.
The event also featured special appearances by Kansas University head football coach Les Miles and Kansas State head football coach Chris Klieman.