Yontami Jones, the girls basketball coach at Kenmore-Garfield High School, is the 31st recipient of the annual Clem Caraboolad Memorial Coach of the Year award.

Tom Giffen, then sports editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, started the award in 1989 to honor Caraboolad, the football coach and a teacher at Archbishop Hoban High School, who died of a heart attack at age 43 on Jan. 29, 1988.

Caraboolad, who was an assistant football coach and teacher at Walsh Jesuit before going to Hoban, was known for his passionate commitment to his family, his players, his students and his job.

He gave an inordinately high amount of time on and off the field to his players, and in and out of the classroom to his students. He also was known for his dedication to his wife, Jane, and their children, Steven and Scott.

After Caraboolad's death, the Beacon Journal started the award to honor an area coach whose commitment and values matched that of Caraboolad.

Members of the Beacon Journal sports staff discussed nominations and other possible candidates for the award and chose Jones.

Jones will receive the award Monday night at the Touchdown Club of Greater Akron's sports banquet at Guy's Party Center. The Touchdown Club became a partner in the award in 2007.

 

PAST WINNERS

1989: John Nemec, Kent Roosevelt football

1990: Jim France, Manchester football

1991: Steve Grescovich, Walsh Jesuit football, baseball

1992: George Auten, Ellet track and field.

1993: Chuck Long, Rittman football

1994: Tony Kijanko, Tallmadge and Stow football

1995: John Martin, Wadsworth boys basketball

1996: Mike Gallagher, Wooster girls basketball

1997: Bob Lake, Cloverleaf football

1998: Jeff Durbin, Lake football

1999: Rich Neitzelt, Jackson girls track and field

2000: Dan Gourley, Green golf, girls track and field

2001: Bill McGee, Garfield football

2002: Steve Smith, Orrville boys basketball

2003: Ralph Orsini, Archbishop Hoban football

2004: Marie Fiedler, Western Reserve Academy field hockey

2005: Joe Yost, Ellet football

2006: Dan Lancianese, St. Vincent-St. Mary track and cross country

2007: Marty Hill, Windham boys basketball

2008: Jeff Couto, Louisville football, basketball and softball

2009: Ken Rector, Barberton boys basketball

2010: Eric Ervin, Woodridge football

2011: Ron Viscounte, Copley football

2012: John Sabol, Barberton boys soccer

2013: T.K. Griffith, Archbishop Hoban boys basketball

2014: Tina Wallace, Ellet volleyball and girls basketball

2015: Dave Close, Stow basketball

2016: Pat Ritchie, Walsh Jesuit cross country and track and field

2017: Chuck Shuman, Ellet football and softball

2018: Dave Mariola, Barberton wrestling

2019: Yontami Jones, Kenmore-Garfield girls basketball