The St. Joseph Sports, Inc. announced Benton head boys and girls wrestling coach Brad Hubbard as Coach of the Year at the 32nd Annual Coach of the Year Ceremony at the St. Joseph Country Club Tuesday night.
Hubbard was very honored to receive the award and is happy to see wrestling in the spotlight.
“Wrestling is one of those sports that’s not in the limelight as much as other sports,” Hubbard said. “But we treat it that way on the south side. We treat wrestling as one of the sports. It’s nice to get that recognition and notoriety for your colleagues. I’m very humble, very proud and I’m very thankful.”
Hubbard is in his 17th season as Benton’s head boys wrestling coach and 13th season as head golf coach. During his time as wrestling coach, Hubbard has had 39 state medalists, 15 state finalists and eight state champions, including Brooke-Lynn Rush this past season.
“Well there’s a reason why I’m bald,” Hubbard said. “Wrestling is just who I am. I played football in college, wrestled my whole life since I was itty bitty. There’s just something about the sport of wrestling that I truly believe has guided me to where I am today.”
Last year, Hubbard helped bring girls wrestling to the program. He sees this program as an opportunity for young women to get involved in wrestling and just adds another way he can help coach kids.
“I was excited for the opportunity to add girls wrestling,” Hubbard said. “It’s a lot of extra work, but it’s worth it. I get that much more of a chance to make an impact on kids.”
President of the foundation Dr. Brett Miller explained how there was a new format in voting for the winner this year.
“The new format this year, where we have the coaches peers, for the first time ever, nominate and vote for them,” Miller said. “In the past the foundation has chosen a winner. This year we decided to let each individual school have a vote. This year’s coach of the year winner was truly voted on by his peers.”
The other nominees include: St. Joseph Christian head cross country coach Lisa Olson; Bishop LeBlond head dance and cheer coach Adrienne Smith; Central head cross country coach Bob Miller; and Lafayette head boys and girls golf coach Mark Korell.
The ceremony also serves as a great opportunity for the coaches in the community to interact with one another.
“The St. Joseph Sports Foundation has been in this community for over 30 years with goal of advancing athletics in our community,” Miller said. “We have changed our focus to recognize the coach of the student athlete of the year. It’s a great evening to bring all the community coaches together, to see how much they really do enjoy each other’s company and how they are really colleagues and not competitors all the time.”