By Jano Tantongco
After two recently undefeated seasons, Lou Hanner, varsity boys soccer coach for Elwood-John Glenn High School, has been named Coach of The Year by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association for the 2016-2017 school year.
Now, he’s in the running for the Region 1 title of the National Federation High School Coach of the Year Award.
But, his honors don’t end there. Just this past fall, he said, he also received the same distinction from the National Soccer Coaches Association for his storied career.
The start of this coming fall season, Hanner will enter his 20th season at Glenn.
“Being named the coach of the year for boys soccer statewide by the athletic directors is a humbling and huge honor. Obviously it wouldn’t be possible without my family’s support of letting me keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
He started his journey playing Division I soccer in 1990 at midstate SUNY Oneonta for his first three years. Then, in 1993, he transferred west to SUNY Cortland and finished his senior year playing Division III.
The very next year, Hanner began sharing his skills, serving as a staff junior varsity coach, as he completed his bachelor of science in physical education.
With a degree in hand, he then started to coaching at White Plains High School, from 1995-1997, finally moving to his current home at John Glenn in 1998.
For the past two years, Glenn has stood undefeated in regular league play in League VI, but unfortunately came up short in the county semifinals both times. Still, the coach expressed a strong sense of pride in his team.
“I don’t know what to say, it’s kind of overwhelming,” Hanner said. “I’m very happy for our program. It’s a testament to the kids that have come through that have played. A lot of wins come with a lot of years.”
Luke Karen, a newly minted Glenn grad, served as one of the team’s three co-captains.
“I think it’s a great honor for him. He’s a good guy, definitely one of the better coaches I’ve had in my soccer career,” Karen, 18, said. “He definitely knows what he’s doing, knows how to coach high school soccer.”
Karen, of Elwood, is headed to midstate Ithaca College this autumn where he’ll be playing varsity. He’ll be in the business school, but hasn’t yet settled on a major.
Karen added, “He demands respect from the players. He just wants you to work hard, and if you do that, then he’ll be happy.”