Grandview assistant girls basketball coach Will Baird, left, celebrated a Class 5A semifinal victory with the Wolves last season. Now, Baird — who is also a business teacher and soccer assistant at the school — can celebrate his win of the 2019 Schomp Honda Coach of the Year award. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

After a furious period of online voting, popular Will Baird of Grandview High School emerged as winner of Schomp Honda’s 2019 Coach of the Year.

The Highlands Ranch-based car dealership held a contest to recognize a high school coach who “consistently goes above and beyond for their school, community and students,” and several Aurora coaches fit the bill.

Smoky Hill varsity football coach Tom Thenell and Eaglecrest freshman cheer coach Brianna Gragg were also in the mix along with Baird, plus others from Arapahoe, Cherry Creek and Rock Canyon.

The online voting (which started Nov. 25 and ended Monday) was close for awhile, but Baird received a swell of late support — including urging from the Grandview student newspaper, The Chronicle, which posted this mini-profile — and finished as the clear winner with more than 40,000 votes to his credit.

Baird is a longtime business teacher at Grandview and is the sponsor of the school’s FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) club. In the coaching realm, he is an assistant to Josh Ulitzky on the Grandview girls basketball team, Baird has also been a soccer assistant for the Wolves as well.

As winner of the award, Baird will receive a three-year lease of a brand new 2020 Honda Passport in addition to a $5,000 domination for a sports or educational program he chooses.

“It’s deeply personal, but I would like to support victims of sexual abuse and I also want to help kids who maybe can’t afford the travel costs of FBLA in the summer,” Baird told the Chronicle.

Courtney Oakes, Sports Editor