All-U.P. Boys Basketball: O’Donnell wins second coaching award

MARQUETTE – Now he has two.

Negaunee High School boys head basketball coach Mike O’Donnell picked up his second career Class ABC Coach of the Year nod in voting Wednesday by members of the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association in Marquette.

A unanimous pick for the award, O’Donnell also gained top laurels in 2007-08.

He led the Miners to a 19-1 overall regular-season record – their only loss a 59-43 decision at Marquette – and a 12-0 Mid-Peninsula Conference title-winning mark.

With Class ABC Player of the Year Tyler Jandron and Class ABC First Team pick Tanner Uren major factors, O’Donnell guided the Miners to their third straight district and regional championships this season.

In Class D, Adam Mercier of North Central earned the UPSSA Coach of the Year nod. He picked up 20 votes to two for Ewen-Trout Creek’s Brad Besonen and one for Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Jack Kumpula.

Mercier took the Jets to a 17-3 overall record and a share of both the Central U.P. and Skyline Conference crowns with 12-2 records, respectively.

With no seniors on his team, Mercier also eventually took the Jets to the MHSAA Class D state semifinals, where they lost to Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian, 51-36.

Along the way this season, the Jets won their first quarterfinal contest since 1985.

Besonen guided the Panthers to a 16-4 overall record. Kumpula took his LL-H team to a 15-5 overall mark in his first season at the helm.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is