Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder and Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman headline five winners of this year’s Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation awards.
Snyder, who led the Wildcats within a whisker of a national championship last fall, and Heineman, one of the driving forces behind the powerful rebranding of the Sporting KC Major League Soccer team, are joined by fellow award-winners Colin Dougherty of Leavenworth High, MetroSports founder John Denison and triathlete Kelly Dippold.
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All five will be honored at the return edition of the Sports Commission’s annual awards banquet on April 19 at the Downtown Marriott-Muehlbach Towers.
The awards event, now in its 40th year, went through some restructuring following the death of longtime president Kevin Gray in 2011. Last year’s awards were handed out during a 30-minute program on MetroSports, with no banquet scheduled.
Dougherty, a senior varsity basketball player and winner of the Downtown Marriott Sportsman of the Year Award, was diagnosed with autism at age 2. He was enrolled in a special-education program through middle school but is now a straight-A student in a typical classroom.
Dippold, Kansas City Life Sportswoman of the Year, last year won her age division (50-54) at the World Triathlon Championship in New Zealand. A former University of Kansas swimmer, she once held the Big Eight record in the 200-meter breast stroke.
Snyder, the organization’s Burns and McDonnell Coach of the Year, guided K-State to its first Big 12 championship last fall and has produced a host of NCAA All-Americans and NFL Draft picks.
Heineman, the Waddell & Reed Executive of the Year, is one of Sporting’s five principal owners. Last year, he was named to the Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list for the club’s on-field success and pioneering efforts in sports and entertainment technology.
Denison, the organization’s Sprint Community Champion, has helped MetroSports earn a host of Emmy, Telly and Aurora awards for excellence in the television industry.
The April 19 banquet includes a VIP reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner and the awards program at 7. For tickets to and sponsorship packages, call (816) 389-4191 or visit sportkc.org.