2019 Coach of the Year

Each year, Sponsor Representatives will submit their district’s collective nomination for the LYF Coach of the Year Award. The inaugural year for this award is 2019. Nominations should be submitted to the League President no later than two weeks before the December Board meeting. Nominations should include the Coach’s name, level coached, a picture, and a brief bio of the Coach explaining the district’s nomination of this individual. Criteria for the award nominee should include both on- and off-the-field accomplishments. Coach nominees should demonstrate tremendous character, ethics, leadership, teaching/coaching skills, and rapport within their district. Rationale for nomination may also include their season win-loss record and/or improvements from year to year. Nominations do not need to be the Coach with the best record within a district. The League will rely on the Sponsor Representative’s knowledge and discretion to select the best candidate from their district. Self-nominations are allowed. The ultimate goal is to recognize some of the great Coaches in the LYF League.

The League will recognize all 8 nominees at the December Board of Directors meeting. Attendees of the December Board meeting, including Board members and LYF Staff will vote for an overall winner.

2019 Lincoln Youth Football (LYF) League Coach of the Year Nominees

Allo

Jon Ritta

2019 D-division Coach

Elks Club

Justin Throener

2019 Rookie-division Coach

Green’s

Toby Anderson

2019 Rookie-division Coach

Manzitto

Josh Munford

2019 A-division Coach

Neemann & Son’s

Sean Gentrup

2019 Rookie-division Coach

Police-Sandhills Global

Craig Price

2019 B-division Coach

Stonebrook

Joe Oliva

2019 B-division Coach

Union Bank & Trust

Jeff Semrad

2019 B-division Coach

Jeff Semrad

2019 Coach of the Year: Jeff Semrad

Union Bank & Trust (UBT) youth football nominates Coach Jeff Semrad as LYF Coach of the Year in 2019. Coach Semrad is a product of the LYF League, having played and coached in the Leon’s organization in the late 1990’s. Jeff found his way back to the LYF League in 2017, serving as an Assistant Coach with the Union Bank & Trust D-division team. In 2018, Coach Semrad assumed the duties of Head Coach for the UBT C-division team, leading them to a highly competitive 3-4 season. In 2019, Jeff lead the UBT B-division team as Head Coach. Coach Semrad started the 2019 campaign with energy and optimism, telling everyone how excited he was for this season. No one knew then that he and his staff were taking this group of young men on the initial steps of a what would be a historic youth football season. Under Coach Semrad’s leadership, the 2019 UBT B-division team tripled their win total from the previous season, finishing the regular season with an unblemished 7-0 record. Their defense allowed only one touchdown scored throughout the entire regular season. His team breezed through the playoff, on their way to the Championship title, shutting out their opponents, to finish with a perfect 9-0 record and outscoring their opposition 322-8 over those nine games. Coach Jeff Semrad’s family include his wife, Jamie, son Griffin (13, Scott Middle School), and daughter, Blake (11, Adams Elementary). Jeff graduated from Lincoln Southeast High School in the class of 1995, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2000. Semrad is a Senior Financial Advisor for Davidson & Co. and was previously an Investment Advisor Representative with SMITH HAYES Advisers, Inc. Jeff serves on the Board of Trustees for Lighthouse of Lincoln, Board of Directors for the Pegler Family Foundation, and served past roles on the The Lincoln Children’s Zoo and Houses of Hope Boards. – Mike Lemanu, Union Bank & Trust Sponsor Representative and Athletic Director

2019 Coach of the Year Nominees

Jon Ritta

Allo youth football nominates Coach Jon Ritta as LYF Coach of the Year in 2019. Jon is a first-year coach with LYF who coached the Allo D-division. Jon is always about his athletes and making his kids better. Players truly respect Coach Ritta, because they know he truly cares about them as players, and he cares about them learning the game. He is always a professional on and off the field, extremely organized, on-time, and goes the extra mile for our club and his players. The future of Allo and the LYF League is bright with coaches like Jon.  Jim Sandman, Allo Athletic Director

Elks Club youth football nominates Coach Justin Throener as LYF Coach of the Year in 2019. Justin was the Head Coach of BOTH Elks Rookie-division teams in 2019, but he has been coaching for the Elks for 13 years. Coach Throener has also spent many off seasons helping the kids in our Elks district. Over the past few years, he has taken on the role of Assistant Athletic Director for the Elks Club youth football organization. We decided early in 2019 that Coach Throener would be in charge of both the Elks Rookie Black and Elks Rookie Silver teams. We believed it was important that both squads needed to be balanced to retain as many of these young Rookie players as possible. Justin fully agreed that having two balanced teams was more important than stacking one team in order to win games. There were 38 Rookie players split between both teams, yet not one complaint was heard about playing time. The two teams were comprised of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders and kids from various backgrounds. Coach Throener established connections with all the players, and as a result, they played hard for him. Of those 38 players, 10 were in 3rd grade. Despite those 3rd-graders having size and maturity disadvantages, they played a fair amount. After talking with the parents, the Elks Club expects all of the younger players to return in 2020. Over his years of experience within the LYF League, Coach Justin Throener has volunteered his time while having no children of his own. He has completely lived this life. Coach Throener’s love for the LYF League and our players is why he would be my first choice to take over for me if anything ever happened.  – Justin White, Elks Club Sponsor Representative and Athletic Director

Justin Throener
Toby Anderson

Green’s Furnace & Plumbing youth football proudly nominates Coach Toby Anderson as LYF Coach of the Year in 2019. Toby coached the Green’s Rookie team in 2019 and has been an LYF Coach for 10 years (9 seasons with the Executive Club and 1 season with Green’s). He started coaching when his son, Trevor, was a 4th grader and continued all the way up to the A-division. When Trevor moved on to high school football (2019 Lincoln East High Graduate), Toby continued sharing his knowledge on the gridiron. During the previous 5 seasons, Coach Anderson assisted with the A-division, helping guide those teams to 3 Championship games. In 2019, when changing sponsors from Executive Club to Green’s Furnace & Plumbing, he assisted with the Rookie-division. Toby brings a technically-sound, enthusiastic, and fun learning environment to our league. He has a demeanor about him that is very well received by the players and other coaches. He brings positive energy and excitement to the organization, and the contributions he has made in developing young football players is superb. Coach Anderson’s coaching style is consistent and constructive: “Here is what you could do better” as opposed to “Here is what you did wrong.” When not helping mold young men, Toby can be found spending time with his wonderful wife, Cheryl, and their three children, Trevor, Avery, and Olivia. Toby is also part of a team of Respiratory Health Care Professionals at Bryan Health as a Neonatal-Pediatric Advanced Respiratory Practitioner and a PRN at the Nebraska Heart Hospital. Collette Toline, one of his co-workers, had this to say about Toby: “He is the best team player to work with, he is always willing to lend a hand and patients and families love him!” – Jason Moser, Green’s Alternate Sponsor Representative and Athletic Director

Manzitto youth football is pleased to nominate Coach Josh Munford as LYF Coach of the Year in 2019. Coach Munford has been involved with the LYF League for 20 years. Josh has coached for Runza, Executive Club, and now Manzitto. Although he coached for the Manzitto A-division team in 2019, Josh has coached all levels from Rookie- through A-division. Something that sets Coach Munford apart is that he has never coached his own child in the LYF League. He simply enjoys being around youth athletics, loves the game of football, and recognizes that coaching in the LYF League serves as an outlet to continue to be a part of the game he loved playing. Josh is married to Hilary, and they have a 14 year old daughter, Karmindy. Josh is continually involved with youth athletics through USSSA baseball as an umpire assigner, an umpire himself, refereeing basketball, and owns two dance studios with his wife. Manzitto is excited to have Josh as a part of their organization. Sam Manzitto, Manzitto Owner and Sponsor Representative; Dave Epp, Manzitto Alternate Sponsor Representative

Josh Munford
Sean Gentrup

Neemann & Son’s youth football is pleased to nominate Coach Sean Gentrup as LYF Coach of the Year in 2019. Sean volunteered as a Rookie-division Coach in 2019 and has been coaching in the LYF League for 7 seasons. He first coached for Runza, and has since coached for Neemann & Son’s at all division levels. His representation as a team player truly showed in 2019 as he was willing to help coach the Rookie-division after spending three seasons coaching the A-division. Despite his preference to coach the older players, Coach Gentrup readily volunteered where he was the least comfortable, due to a lack of coaches available at the younger levels. Sean stated, “There are several things that keep me doing this. I was fortunate to have had some of what I think are the best and positive coaches in my life. What I have learned from them, makes me want to pass it on to others. I love the X’s and O’s of Football, and just have a love for the game. It is the ultimate TEAM sport.” Neemann & Son’s is proud to have a great man like Sean Gentrup help in our pursuit of making all youth players’ involvement with the amazing sport of Football a positive and fun experience. It is because of AWESOME coaches like Sean that Neemann & Son’s participation level has been on such a sharp upswing these past couple seasons. We certainly hope that we can continue that relationship with Coach Gentrup for the foreseeable future.  – Ron Kallhoff, Neemann & Son’s Sponsor Representative and Athletic Director

Police-Sandhills Global (PSG) youth football nominates Coach Craig Price as LYF Coach of the Year in 2019. This is Craig’s 3rd year coaching for PSG, and he coached the B-division team in 2019. Coach Price started off his 2019 season by learning that many of his best players from past seasons were to play at the A-division. Craig responded by fielding a team comprised of kids who had never played football together, with several being first-year 7th grade football players. Coach Price’s B-division team started off the season 3-0, but then hit a mid-season skid against tough opponents. A highlight of Coach Price’s year came as they entered the final week of the regular season, when PSG and Allo were battling for the final playoff spot. Allo lead for much of the game, but somehow, Coach Price managed to motivate his players to keep fighting, and amazingly, PSG tied the game and sent it to overtime. Coach Price and his B-division team ended up pulling off an exciting double-overtime win to clinch that playoff spot. Although they lost in the playoffs to the eventual champions, beating Allo to make the playoffs capped a fantastic 2019 campaign.

Besides being a valuable coach, Craig helped the PSG Athletic Director with moving and checking out PSG’s equipment throughout the season. Craig currently serves as a night shift Sergeant on the Lincoln Police Department, mentoring many younger officers. He also provides defensive tactics and awareness training to citizens to help keep them and our community safer. Craig is an alumnus of Wayne State College, where he played football for the Wildcats. Craig and his wife, Andrea, have two children, Trenton and Taylor. Ed Simpson, Police-Sandhills Global Sponsor Representative and Athletic Director

Craig Price
Joe Oliva

Stonebrook Exterior youth football is pleased to nominate Coach Joe Oliva as LYF Coach of the Year in 2019. Joe coached the Stonebrook Storm’s B-division team in 2019. Joey has coached across all levels and has excelled as a Coach in many sports. Coach Oliva’s passion for athlete development is what drives his success. He not only wants to develop the physical skill set of an athlete, but also focuses on their sports IQ. He firmly believes in education, by educating himself as well the coaches around him. Joey is a true ambassador for LYF wanting the entire program to develop athletes to assist Lincoln’s High School football programs. The core values he has led his teams to follow: (a) For the Love of the Game, (b) PASSION, (c) RESPECTFUL, (d) EDUCATION, (e) CELEBRATION, and (f) FAMILY. These values align with Stonebrook Exterior’s values, and demonstrate why we have chosen him to be our Athletic Director in 2020. Steve Kunkel, Stonebrook Exterior Owner and Sponsor Representative

Union Bank & Trust (UBT) youth football nominates Coach Jeff Semrad as LYF Coach of the Year in 2019. Coach Semrad is a product of the LYF League, having played and coached in the Leon’s organization in the late 1990’s. Jeff found his way back to the LYF League in 2017, serving as an Assistant Coach with the Union Bank & Trust D-division team. In 2018, Coach Semrad assumed the duties of Head Coach for the UBT C-division team, leading them to a highly competitive 3-4 season. In 2019, Jeff lead the UBT B-division team as Head Coach. Coach Semrad started the 2019 campaign with energy and optimism, telling everyone how excited he was for this season. No one knew then that he and his staff were taking this group of young men on the initial steps of a what would be a historic youth football season. Under Coach Semrad’s leadership, the 2019 UBT B-division team tripled their win total from the previous season, finishing the regular season with an unblemished 7-0 record. Their defense allowed only one touchdown scored throughout the entire regular season. His team breezed through the playoff, on their way to the Championship title, shutting out their opponents, to finish with a perfect 9-0 record and outscoring their opposition 322-8 over those nine games. Coach Jeff Semrad’s family include his wife, Jamie, son Griffin (13, Scott Middle School), and daughter, Blake (11, Adams Elementary). Jeff graduated from Lincoln Southeast High School in the class of 1995, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2000. Semrad is a Senior Financial Advisor for Davidson & Co. and was previously an Investment Advisor Representative with SMITH HAYES Advisers, Inc. Jeff serves on the Board of Trustees for Lighthouse of Lincoln, Board of Directors for the Pegler Family Foundation, and served past roles on the The Lincoln Children’s Zoo and Houses of Hope Boards. Mike Lemanu, Union Bank & Trust Sponsor Representative and Athletic Director

Jeff Semrad