photoBy Diane Leane

Executive In-Depth Editor

According to the United States Census Bureau, 12.88 million people live in the state of Illinois. Out of the 12.88 million, one man was chosen to represent the state for National Golf Coach of the Year. James Hamann, girls’ varsity golf coach and math teacher, was nominated by the Illinois Coaches Association for the prestigious national award.

Every year one representative is nominated from each state and one of those representatives is awarded the Golf Coach of the Year award. Hamann found out about the nomination when he received an email and was very proud to be able to represent Illinois. Despite the impressive nomination, Hamann remained humble and stayed focused on making the team the best it could be. According to senior Kacie O’Donnell, a member of the varsity golf team, Hamann never mentioned his nomination to the girls.

O’Donnell has been coached by Hamann for three years and she believes what makes Hamann stand out from other coaches is that he always gives 110 percent effort. Hamann frequently buys new equipment for the team if he thinks it will help them improve and he goes to different coaching conferences to exchange ideas that would help the team.

“[Hamann] does more than any other coach,” said O’Donnell. “He’s always going out of his way doing things that he doesn’t have to [do].”

Besides teaching the girls how to golf, Hamann also teaches the girls lessons about life in general. From him, O’Donnell has learned everything from all that she knows about golf to how to be a better person. Hamann coaches the team based off of what his high school and college golf teams lacked.

“Every year I try to do a better job than I did the year before,” said Hamann. “I try to make the experience for the girls as enjoyable as possible and very memorable for them. I just want to treat the girls like queens and give them as many opportunities as possible.”