Greenbrier coach Randy Tribble was honored earlier this week at the Little Rock Touchdown Club banquet as the 5A Coach of the Year.

In just his second year as the head football coach, Tribble turned the Panthers program around. Tribble’s first year resulted in a 1-9 finish, but last season, Greenbrier ended 9-4 and made it to the Class 5A state semifinal game before losing to Camden Fairview.

"It’s really a good feeling, but football is the greatest team sport it is," Tribble said. "Winning awards like this is a testament of a great staff and team. I’m proud of our coaching staff and the way that they worked together. It shouldn’t be all about me, even though I’m the guy with his name in the paper. At any successful football program, there are always good coaches behind the scenes doing a lot of work."

Tribble beat out many candidates for the award including two semifinalists, Monticello’s Van Pashcal and Camden Fairview’s Buck Jones.

"This season was so pleasing and it was satisfying to see the kids grow and improve," Tribble said. "It’s time to get to work on next season, but it’s good to remember and reflect back sometimes."

The Panthers finished the 2009 season with its best 5A-West Conference finish in history, with a 5-2 mark. Greenbrier ended in second place behind Greenwood. The Panthers also had two players win honors of being the Log Cabin Democrat’s Players of the Year. Quarterback Neal Burcham was the player of the year on offense, and defensively, Matt Cain took the honors.

"It’s great to see these kids get recognized," Tribble said. "We had a bunch of kids earn all-conference and all-state and that’s always good to see. They worked this year and are deserving of all the accolades.

This was Tribble’s second time going to the event, but the first time as a coach. The previous time was in 2006 after his son Zac Tribble, the former quarterback at Harding Academy, earned player of the year honors for Class 2A for the 2005 season.

"That was my first time meeting coach Steve Wood," Tribble said. "He was the coach of the year when his Charleston team won the 2A state championship."