Girls Soccer Coach of the Year: Crown Point’s Chris Mikrut
By Tom Wyatt Post-Tribune correspondent December 13, 2012 11:10PM
Chris Mikrut, photographed in Crown Point, Ind. Friday November 30, 2012, is the Post-Tribune Girls Soccer Coach of the Year. Mikrut has coached Crown Point for six years. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 15, 2013 11:36AM
Chris Mikrut is only 41 years old. But the Crown Point girls soccer coach feels like he’s been coaching forever.
Maybe that’s because he started coaching in 1993 in Illinois at the age of 22.
“This year was an incredible year,” said Mikrut, the 2012 Post-Tribune Girls Soccer Coach of the Year. “It re-energized me to continue on and keep on wanting to be a part of what we have here at Crown Point.”
And what he has is a large extended soccer family, a community that rallies around its team and a program that continues to build thanks to a solid feeder system.
“I was a Catholic school kid all my life,” said Mikrut, who coached at Andrean before coming to Crown Point. “Here, I came into a public school system and have been able to kind of establish a program where I think the kids in middle school want to be part of that program. I look down at the sixth-grade class and can see what a great class that is. It’s nice to know what you’ve got three or four years from now.”
The Bulldogs advanced to the semistate semifinals last year and this year made it to the semistate final, one win from playing for the Class 2A state crown. Crown Point finished 19-4 and went undefeated against area teams, including a 7-0 mark to win the outright Duneland Conference title.
“I’m blessed with some unbelievable assistant coaches,” Mikrut said. “I just feel lucky I have great people around me. We’ve been able to create an environment where the kids know what it takes to win at Crown Point.
“When you have three practices a week at 6 a.m. in the summer, and there are 50 kids there, you know you’re doing something right. There are a lot of sacrifices those kids make, but they know there’s something special about being part of the program.”
That’s what keeps Mikrut coming back, too. With a family, including two young children, at home, juggling responsibilities can be difficult. But he’s not ready to step away from coaching just yet.
“I’ve never been part of a community,” Mikrut said. “But being a part of Crown Point and the community here is a great experience. I live here; this is my home.
“Stepping away from that would be very difficult to do. We’ve got to continue building with a new group of kids next year. These seniors have been three- and four-year starters. It’s time to start with a new group of kids, and that’s exciting.”