High school sports are an major part of the entire high school experience for many students.  But it's about more than just winning and losing.  It's about the friendships and life lessons that come with participation.

Great teams and great experiences start with great coaches.  Now, a couple of West Michigan's best coaches have received national honors.

Each year the National Federation of State High School Associations honors 20 coaches.  10 for boys sports and 10 for girls sports.  West Michigan coaches have taken home two of this year's awards.

Butch Briggs has been a coach at East Grand Rapids for 37 years.  Coach Briggs won the award for his coaching of the boys swimming team.

John Conlon has coached both boys and girls soccer at East Kentwood over the last 12 years.  Conlon has won the boys state championship three times.

Learn more about Coach Briggs and Coach Conlon at mlive.com.