2016 KC Metro Area Coaches of the Year

Recognizing and Celebrating Coaches Using Sport to Transform Lives

2016 Coaches of the Year Finalists

After receiving a record number of nominations for the second year in a row, our selection committee made the difficult decision of narrowing down our 85+ nominations to our 12 finalists.

Below is a brief introduction to each of our finalists, as well as the 2016 Coaches of the Year.


Michelle Pothoven

Basketball, Blue Valley Northwest High School

What was shared about Coach Pothoven:

Michelle Pothoven is one of the most positive human beings I have ever met. We have coached basketball together the past two years and she inspires me each and every day to be a better person. More importantly, she fuels a passion within in our athletes to compete at their highest level, which is different for each of them, each time they take to the court. But deeper than her desire for the girls to compete is the desire for the girls to have fun at the sport which they are playing while doing so the right way with the utmost character and integrity.


Jennifer Rippee

Volleyball, Olathe East High School

What was shared about Coach Rippee:

Coach Rippee is a caring, passionate coach that inspires many athletes to be the best they can be. Her positive influence is shown not only on the court, but off the court as well. She cares for each and every player on her team and helps them grow as athletes, students, and most of all as people. With a motivational speech and quote for each match there was never a doubt in anyone’s mind that Coach Rippee was all in… Through sacrifice, love, and determination Coach Rippee leaves a mark on everyone around her and will always have a place in our hearts as she does for us.

Mardy Ortman

Basketball, Olathe Northwest High School

What was shared about Coach Ortman:

She has a personal Statement of why she coaches and it is based on being transformational and not transactional! She has it out and in sight to remind her and to be an example to other coaches and players.



Katrina Johnigan

Basketball, Center High School

What was shared about Coach Johnigan:

Coach Johnigan is a self-less individual, giving all she has to teach, inspire, and coach young teens. She is an influential role model in all of her players life’s providing them with the tools to grow as young women. She spends long hours at the high school as a special education teacher, a math teacher, a coach, and she always is the students safe place to go for love and support.

Janet Anson

Gymnastics, Eagles Gymnastics Center

What was shared about Coach Anson:

Janet Anson is one of the most talented and inspiring gymnastics coaches I have come to know… As a former gymnast for the University of Iowa she has taken her experiences under the guidance of a transactional style coaching environment and has transformed the way she coaches in a manor that brings continual success whether on the podium or in the gym learning and perfecting new skills. As a coworker and parent of a gymnast at Eagles it excites me to know that there is still an incoming generation of coaches who teach with integrity, love, and excitement for their athletes whether they are winning or losing. Each day I enter the gym I witness the pure joy on little girls faces when they are being coached by her.

Amanda Hanneman

Girls Basketball, St. Teresa’s Academy

What was shared about Coach Hanneman:

Coach Hanneman is one of the most positive, influential women I have been lucky to know. She is genuinely one of the most energetic and upbeat people I have met and, being lucky enough to coach alongside her, I have watched how her energy has positively changed young women we coach… She emphasizes fundamentals, defense, and intensity, but she continues to preach about heart, effort, and character being at the forefront of her approach. Honestly, watching the girls push themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of is inspiring and heart-warming to see. More than that, she cares about these girls’ futures from a character and personal standpoint… Most importantly, she treats these players like family–caring when they have ill loved ones, spending extra hours before and after practice on drills, and reaching out to national coaches to help our athletes being recruited at the college level. She is a remarkable woman and I just consider myself fortunate to be around her energy and effort.


Samuel Ramirez

Club Softball, KC Monarchs

What was shared about Coach Ramirez:

[Coach Ramirez] is using softball to change lives by being an excellent role model. He teaches us about being team players and how to take what we use on the field to our everyday lives. He teaches us to win with dignity and lose with pride. He shows us how to work hard for what we want on and off the field, by dedicating his time and efforts to teach us not only about softball, but life experiences as well. He wants us all to attend college not just as softball players, but as students. He not only sets our playing schedule to accomplish this, but college visits and recruiting seminars, as well. He takes his time to teach us the skills and works with each player to improve their skills. He takes his time to come to our other activities as well. He has come to our high school games and awards ceremonies. If, he can not make it to the event, he will always call or text to see how thing went and if there is any thing that he can do to help. He teaches us how to communicate with each other and adults by modeling these skills with us, our parents, and with our other coach. He cares about us as if we were his own children, taking pride in our accomplishments and teaching us how to deal with things when they do not work out both on and off the field.

Stu Reece

Boys Tennis, Lee’s Summit North

What was shared about Coach Reece:

Coach Reece uses tennis to impact the lives of not only his current players, but players of all ages throughout the community. He consistently teaches the value of integrity, honesty, and respect both on and off the court. He regularly holds free clinics for elementary students to learn the sport and even takes his high school students (and equipment) to inner city schools so those students can learn and play, too. Coach Reece also has voluntarily created a middle school tennis program getting students involved in the sport at an earlier age. Tennis is often considered an expensive sport to play, but Coach Reece has gone out of his way to provide free equipment, training, and opportunities for students of all socioeconomic classes to participate and fall in love with the game. Not only is this a win for these kids, but the other athletes get to see the value in helping others, going the extra mile, and including all. This past year, Coach Reece changed his program to a No-Cut program and kept 61 girls on his girls tennis team. He wanted ALL of them to be a part of the team, feel valued, and learn to love the game. The passion, time, and devotion he puts in to ensure students of all ages have the opportunity to play and grow has no comparison. Stu Reece is truly using the sport of tennis to change lives.


Rodney Weber

Club Baseball & Softball

What was shared about Coach Weber:

Rodney has been coaching youth in the Kansas City area for the past several years. He LOVES having the opportunity to help kids reach their fullest potential… In today’s youth sports you can say there is a lot of competition. Many coaches have gone to extremes to make sure their team has plenty of wins and trophies under their belt. While winning is important, Rodney instills in his players that when we lose or when we aren’t always the best, valuable lessons can still be learned… Ultimately, that is why he coaches and is willing to devote the time and energy needed. He looks at each kid and feels that if he can be another adult in their life to build them up and make them believe in themselves that he is helping them for their future. He knows that at the end of the day this is what it takes to WIN in life!!!



Tom Radke

Football, St. James Academy

What was shared about Coach Radke:

Tom uses his platform as HFC to influence his players in a meaningful way beyond X’s and O’s. He and his staff are not shy about using the backdrop of their faith to teach important lessons to their players.

Levi Husemen

Track & Field, Olathe North

What was shared about Coach Huseman:

Levi has absolutely transformed long distance running at Olathe North. He has made it a life style for a large percentage of our kids. Through this cultural change at our school our Cross Country Team won the 2015-16 Boys 6A Cross Country State Champions. He and his staff also have one of the strongest distance programs on the track. Levi has started a fitness lifestyle at Olathe North with the creation of the Eagle Intermural Basketball League. This is a league for all students. We have students that would never have played a sport at Olathe North if it wasn’t for this program.

Mike Rose

Basketball, Shawnee Mission Northwest

What was shared about Coach Rose:

I’ve been following the progress and success of the Shawnee Mission Northwest boys program for the past several years without a child of my own on the team. I have been impressed with the calmness Mike displays as he coaches his team. Never a word of profanity, never a foul word at the referees, and always teaching with encouragement to his players. As a general rule in the Sunflower league and the Metro area, Mike seems to buck the norm in terms of his demeanor on the court. Having taken several of his recent teams to the state tournament and placing a fairly high number of players around local junior college, D-I and D-II programs, it seems he has found a recipe for success without being negative, without being a yeller, and by exuding great leadership by example to his players.



Beginning on February 1st, nominations will be live online at communityforcoaches.org.  Athletes, parents, administrators and other Coaches are encouraged to nominate a deserving Coach.  These are women and men who are making a difference in communities, families and the lives of individuals.  This is your chance to let the world know about your favorite Coach!  

Nominations will run from February 2 – March 15, and the CFC selection team will announce 12 finalists on April 1st.

Final Voting Process

Once the 12 finalists (3 male, 3 female from Kansas; 3 male, 3 female from Missouri) have been determined, the online voting will begin at communityforcoaches.org.  Voting is scheduled to run from April 1 – 17.

The coaches (1 male, 1 female from Kansas; 1 male, 1 female from Missouri) receiving the most votes will be selected as our 2015 KC Metro Coaches of the Year!

Awards Banquet

Our 2016 KC Metro Coach of the Year Awards Banquet will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, May 1st.  Our 12 finalists will all be recognized and we’ll announce the leading vote getters for 2016 KC Metro Coaches of the Year!  

Every finalist will receive a Prize Package including gift cards, movie passes, ballgame tickets and more!


Want to learn more about our past KC Metro Coaches of the Year Finalists and winners? Click the links below to visit our pages from our previous years.

2015 Finalists