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Kansas City Sports Commission announces award winners

Matt Besler with Sporting KC teammates addresses crowd at Union Station.
Matt Besler with Sporting KC teammates addresses crowd at Union Station.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Five outstanding individuals will be honored on Friday, April 11 for their commitment and achievements in sports at the 41st Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation Awards Banquet.

Kansas City Downtown Marriott Sportsman of the Year: Matt Besler - Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler has accumulated many accomplishments on the field including helping Sporting KC win the 2013 MLS Cup. Besler is the top defender in Major League Soccer and helped the U.S. Men’s National Team as they qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Off the field, Besler is one of Sporting Kansas City’s leading humanitarians with his support of several philanthropic causes and charities in the Kansas City area. This Overland Park, KS native gives back to his community on and off the field.

Kansas City Life Sportswoman of the Year: Shannon Vreeland - Blue Valley West High School graduate and current University of Georgia student, Vreeland is a successful swimmer. In 2012, as part of the 800-meter free relay, Vreeland won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in London. In 2013, she won gold medals in all three relays at the FINA World Championships. Vreeland also earned a Golden Goggles Award from USA Swimming for Relay Performance of the Year after helping the 400 freestyle relay win gold and set the American record at the 2013 World Championships.

Burns and McDonnell Coach of the Year: Adam Dorrel - Dorrel became the head football coach at Northwest Missouri State in 2011 then proceeded to rack up wins and awards. In 2013, Dorrel was named American Football Coaches Association Division II National Coach of the Year and his team won the NCAA Division II National Championship after completing a 15-0 season. Adam Dorrel has been a long-time Bearcat. Dorrel was a three-year captain for the Bearcats during his collegiate career as an offensive lineman from 1994 to 1997 and earned All-MIAA honors in 1995, 1996 and 1997. A Maryville native, he also was a two-time All-District and All-Conference lineman at Maryville High School.

Sprint Community Champion: Shawnee Mission West Football Community - In 2013, Shawnee Mission West High School lost a star football player, Andre Maloney, when he died of complications from a stroke after scoring a touchdown during a football game. The SMW community came together as a family to help the football team finish a season without their teammate.

Waddell & Reed Executive of the Year: Clark Hunt - For more than a decade, Hunt has been involved in the leadership of the Kansas City Chiefs and currently serves as the club’s chairman and CEO. In 2013, he ushered in a new era of leadership, hiring Head Coach Andy Reid and General Manager John Dorsey and saw the team record, the greatest single season turnaround in franchise history on the way to the playoffs. Over the last several years, Hunt has emerged as a leading voice among NFL owners. Hunt and his family are actively involved in numerous philanthropic initiatives in Kansas City including Harvesters, The University of Kansas Hospital Treads and Threads, Lift Up America, as well as the Chiefs Art Program and the annual Chiefs Charity Game.

  • The Awards Banquet will be Friday, April 11 at the Kansas City Downtown Marriott-Muehlebach Towers. A VIP Reception will start at 5:30 p.m. with dinner and the program starting at 7 p.m.

The Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation benefits the Kansas City region through sports by creating, attracting and managing major sporting events for Kansas City. And, by promoting the lifetime benefits of sports for youth through educational initiatives, tournaments and clinics.

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