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Best of the Best in Coaching

Athletic Director and basketball coach Kate Pilgreen was named the 2017 Missouri Female Coach of the Year.

Athletic+Director+and+basketball+coach+Kate+Pilgreen+is+finishing+her+fourth+year+at+Sion.
Athletic Director and basketball coach Kate Pilgreen is finishing her fourth year at Sion.

Athletic Director and basketball coach Kate Pilgreen is finishing her fourth year at Sion.

Maddie Young

Maddie Young

Athletic Director and basketball coach Kate Pilgreen is finishing her fourth year at Sion.

Maddie Young, Breaking News Editor

Shouts of joy and applause filled the room as it was announced that Athletic Director and basketball coach Kate Pilgreen won the title of the 2017 Missouri Female Coach of the Year at the Community For Coaches awards banquet held April 30.

“We were all screaming and and it was super exciting,” senior basketball player Chloe Long said. “I was so happy for her because she deserves to be recognized.”

Pilgreen was up against two other finalists, Ann Murphy, a club soccer coach for Youth R.I.S.E Kansas City, and Samantha Honeycutt, a softball coach at Avila University. All three were selected by the Community For Coaches selection team from a pool of nominees; then the three were voted on through an online forum open to the public. Pilgreen first found out about her nomination and selection as a finalist through an email sent by the Community For Coaches organization.

“I was completely confused and shocked,” Pilgreen said. “I was humbled for sure and had no idea who had nominated me, but it was just kind of a really surreal, cool experience to get that email.”

At the awards banquet, each finalist was introduced by a player of the coach, and Long introduced Pilgreen. According to Long, the one minute parameters of the introductory speech were not long enough to do justice to the amazing person and work that encompasses the persona of Pilgreen. In her speech, one thing Long described was the powerful and rich connections that Pilgreen has made with so many different students.  

“This was really emotional for me because I love Pil and I’m just kind of one story in a whole sea of stories,” Long said. “Everyone has a Pil story and everyone loves her so deeply.”

The organization that held this event was Community For Coaches, and according to their website the purpose of the award is to recognize and celebrate coaches who are using sport to transform lives.

“This organization is doing really cool things. They do things sheerly out of the kindness of their heart and to make people better coaches,” Pilgreen said. “So I really value not only being at that event, but being a part of that community and being exposed to the good that they do.”

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