A couple of weeks ago, the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association announced its all-state athletes for all class sizes.
At the same time, they named the coaches of the year.
In spite of coaching a Van-Far team that was unranked through the entire Class 2 season to a state championship as well as finishing with the best record, head coach Pat Connaway did not receive the Coach of the Year award from the MBCA.
For some reason, the MBCA gave the award to Mid-Buchanan head coach Bryce Kemper. Kemper’s squad lost to Connaway’s Indians in the semifinals.
Apparently, the MBCA really liked what the Mid-Buchanan teams did this year. Their girls program, who lost in the state finals to Neelyville, also had their coach Rod Elms named Coach of the Year.
Among the 10 total state championship teams, all of the winning coaches won the top coaching award except for the two Mid-Buchanan programs and a state runner-up Class 4 Raytown South boys team.
I truly would love for the MBCA to provide a written response in regards to why Connaway did not receive the top coaches award in the state.
In looking at the Indians three losses, two came in the absence of all-state player Lathyn McMorris.
One loss came to an Elsberry squad that won their own district title. They also lost to Canton, a team they ended up beating in the district finals.
And I would say that if Canton was in another district on the other side of the state championship bracket, the Bulldogs would have likely been at Springfield too.
The other loss came to a Class 3 district champion Monroe City squad that had 24 wins.
Frankly, there is no way the MBCA can justify not giving Connaway the top coaching award in the state.
I took the time to scroll through a couple of years on the MBCA website to see if this has happened before.
It appears that Connaway’s situation is rather isolated. A large majority of state championship teams have their coaches receiving the top coaching award.
In cases where this did not happen, the coach getting the award was from a team with one of the best records in the state. It’s probably useless for me to write this editorial as there is nothing the MBCA will do to fix this bad decision.
Though Connaway didn’t get the top coaches award, he does have the state title.
I just wish the top coaches award was rightfully awarded to him as having the chance to win such a prestigious honor only happens after a season that ends at state.
While Van-Far hopes to be back again next year, there’s no certainty of it happening.
That’s why Connaway deserved the honor this year after the Indians remarkable run.
Perhaps the only thing more surprising than Connaway not winning the award is how the Indians were never ranked all season long by the MBCA.
Oh, I stand corrected. The Indians were No. 1 in the final poll released last week.
I guess that’s all that really matters.