The Coach of the Year is Awarded to the best coach of the 2021 season. When looking at nominees, we looked at both success throughout the season, as well as player development abilities, strategic approach, flexibility during events, and roster building ability.
These coaches represent the elite of the professional paintball coaching world, and we are proud to announce them as this years nominees!
2021 Coach of the Year Nominees
Ryan Brand, San Antonio XFactor
Ryan has been among the elite of pro paintball coaches for more than a decade. He is one of the architects behind the modern style of communication and play on the professional field. His, at the time, novel use of advanced codes to relay play calls, situational adjustments, and information have since been evidenced at all levels of competitive paintball. His ability to adjust quickly to an opponent on the fly is perhaps his best known attribute as a coach and he has become famous for his sense to rapidly diagnose decaying situations on the field and concede points to reset his teams position. Ryan continues to coach one of the best teams in the league, San Antonio XFactor, and is also a very successful coach and player in the classic paintball division.
Kevin Bredthauer, San Diego Dynasty
Kevin "Skinny K" Bredthauer has perhaps the hardest job in paintball, coaching San Diego Dynasty. The team is full of elite veterans whom are among the highest paintball-IQ players in the sports history, and with that comes the need for a coach that is best-in-class at play-calling, and also has the ability to control the varying emotional levels of a pro pit. Kevin joined Dynasty just one season ago after the departure of long-time coach Rusty Glaze; he has since earned two wins and a Season Championship with San Diego and is highly respected for his play-calling ability and intimate knowledge of the X's and O's of paintball. Kevin looks to field an even stronger roster for 2022 and he has a strong nose for finding talent, as we saw with the recent signing of Damien Vasquez.
Travis Lemanski, Los Angeles Infamous
Los Angeles Infamous leader, Travis Lemanski, is the quintessential paintball coach; he has all the accolades and World Championships as a top-level player for two decades, he commands a huge amount of respect across the league, and he is incredibly talented at scouting opposing teams. While at events, Travis relentlessly scouts opposing teams to find gaps in their play style and play calling. This has led to his style as a more aggressive play caller, as his intimate knowledge of the opposition's movements and tendencies leads to more opportunities to expose their guard. He is also a successful coach in the classic paintball league and runs one of the fastest growing companies in the industry.
Todd Martinez, Houston Heat
Every so often, a coach comes along that is the perfect mix of world-class strategist, intense motivator, and master planner; Todd Martinez just may be that coach. He combines in-depth scouting, a high level ability to rapidly diagnose the opposition, and a high level of intensity in the pits to be one of the best coaches in the game's history. This season he was able to secure an event win and put up a best-in-league preliminary round record for the year. Todd's continual demand for excellence from his players has made Houston one of the most feared teams in the paintball world and he should find continued success next year with the program.
Mike Hinman, San Diego Aftermath
Mike Hinman is an elite talent evaluator and player developer; he demands excellence of his players, he demands progression in their ability, and this has earned him a huge amount of respect and success throughout his career. Just one year ago when Mike reacquired the Aftermath team he helped create, the program was in shambles and one of the worst teams in the league. In just one season, Mike has rebuilt the entire roster with promising young players and launched the team from 19th place to an impressive 8th place overall in the league; this is nothing short of extraordinary. After selling his paint company APX, Mike plans to put a large focus on the program along with his assistant coach, Jerry Van Cleve, and should be on pace to break into the top of the league next year.
The Creator of the Year Award and the Innovator of the Year Award features 10 of the most innovative and creative people in the sport of paintball during the 2021 Season.
Featuring many of the games most critical designers and inventors, the Innovator of the Year Award looks to honor those who are constantly pushing new developments in the sport of paintball on and off the field.
The Creator of the Year Award features some of the sports best Photographers, Videographers, and Industry members that are critical to the growth and presentation of the sport of paintball.
Click the flyers below to reveal the full nominee list and stories!
The first of over 80 professional paintball players and companies have been announced as nominees for the 2021 Iconic Awards. These awards will honor the best players and products of the 2021 competitive paintball season. Once the nominees are announced for all 16 categories, judging will take place and the winners will be featured.
Click the images below to see the nominees for Breakout Player of the Year and Breakout Team of the Year!
Iconic Paintball is proud to announce the Iconic Awards. These awards are built to recognize and honor the best professional paintball players in the world. Our nominees and winners are chosen by a panel of judges who are highly qualified and impartial.
Our goal with the Iconic Awards is to bring attention to all the players in the league and identify the best players in professional paintball at each position, as well as different innovators and critical members of the paintball industry.
We have teamed up with Hormesis Paintball to create an exclusive headband design that will be apart of the awards for each category. These headbands will be unique to our awards and exist as a reminder and memento to the accomplishment of the players that can be worn as a crown of honor and recognition. Winners will also receive a trophy. The Player of the Year will also receive a cash prize.
Matty Marshall: Matty is one of the most respected and admired members of the paintball community. His tireless efforts through paintball broadcasting, commentating, podcasts, and paintball storytelling has resulted in some of the best content in the paintball industry. Matty is a retired professional player, multi-time World Champion, and won dozens of events throughout his career. He watches every second of professional paintball that occurs each season, as he is the lead commentator for the GoSports NXL Webcast.
Rich Telford: Rich Telford is one of the greatest professional paintball players to ever play the sport of paintball. Now retired from the professional division, Rich played at the pro level for nearly two decades with legendary teams like XSV and the Ironmen. As a multi-time world champion, professional coach, and long-time member of the GoSports team, Rich provides a unique and impartial view on the landscape of the NXL.
Tom Cole: Tom has been at the forefront of competitive paintball for more than 30 years. He started his career as a professional paintball player with Bad Company where he was an outspoken and influential player. After retiring from pro paintball, Tom went on to run the most successful professional paintball leagues in the World, including the National Xball League, where he is the current President of the League. Tom has a deep knowledge of the professional division and will offer critical insight for the panel of judges.
Quinn Nadu: Quinn is the owner of Iconic Paintball and a paintball writer. His close connection to the entire pro division of players, as well as time spent in the pits at events watching and writing has led to an intimate knowledge of the pro division and will help to provide a story focused insight on the awards.
Icon of the Year- The award given to the best player in the entire professional paintball division throughout the 2021 NXL Season. Winner awarded cash prize, trophy, and custom Hormesis Headwrap unique to the Iconic Awards.
Offensive Player of the Year- The offensive player of the year is awarded to the player that is the most effective attacker in the league. These players are normally responsible for taking ground for their team and getting the best angles on the opposing team to create chaos and score eliminations.
Defensive Player of the Year- The defensive player of the year is awarded to the player that is the most effective support player in the league. These players are responsible for protecting the front players, blocking off running lanes with paintballs, and strategically positioning their teammates on the field while communicating positions to them.
Snake Player of the Year- This award is given to the most effective snake player in the league. The snake bunker is one of the most critical forward attack positions on the modern paintball field. Typically the bunker that every team works to get players into in order to generate eliminations and get the best angles.
Dorito Player of the Year- This award is given to the most effective dorito player in the league. The dorito bunkers typically make up one side of the field. The doritos tend to be a strategically important position for teams to gain a controlling position over the field. They offer some of the most nuanced and strategic play in the game.
Insert Player of the Year- This award is given to the best insert player in the league. The insert players tend to be some of the highest IQ players on the team and versatile. They are able to play anywhere and gain ground on the field quickly. They are often in the middle of the chaos and thrive off of it.
Breakout Player of the Year- The Breakout Player of the Year is awarded to the player that has most rapidly improved over the last season. These are players that started the year under the radar and have risen to the upper echelon of the league as the season progressed.
Move of the Year- The Move of the Year is awarded to the player that executes the most impactful and exciting move of the season. These moves were made during critical moments of a tournament that may have ultimately changed the fate of the respective team.
Game of the Year- The Game of the Year award is a way to recognize the most exciting game of the season. These are games that were back and forth battles which enthralled viewers and fans throughout the match. The organizations involved in these games will be awarded the honor together.
Breakout Team of the Year- The Breakout Team of the Year is awarded to the team that shocked and marveled fans across the paintball world. These are teams who had low expectations coming into the season and were flying under the radar. These teams surpassed all expectations and cemented themselves among the elite of the paintball world.
Team of the Year- The Team of the Year is an award given to the best team of the entire season. This team encompasses a record of consistent excellence throughout the year. They were dominate all season long and consistently finished near the top of every event. This award is given to the owner of the team.
Innovator of the Year- This award is given to recognize the most impactful and innovative industry rep or influencer in paintball. These individuals create groundbreaking products, are major sources of growing the sport of paintball, or generally influential to the game.
Creator of the Year- The Creator of the Year is awarded to the most influential, creative, or critical media member in all of paintball. The winner can be a commentator, photographer, videographer, or paintball personality.
Supporter of the Year- The Supporter of the Year award is given to the person who best personifies everything we love about the game of paintball. The sport is filled with die-hard fans, hard working pit crews, and so many others that make this game so special, we look to award and recognize that.