The number of former Arizona Wildcats as head coaches from high school to the professional ranks stands at 32 following the recent dismissals of Arizona Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale and NAU women’s basketball coach Sue Darling and the decision of former baseball standout Colt Sedbrook to step down as Boulder (Colo.) High School coach after last season to go into private instruction of youth baseball players. Former Arizona walk-on lineman Andy Litten, head football coach at Marana who played at Marana Mountain View, has been added to this list.
FORMER ARIZONA ATHLETES AS CURRENT HEAD COACHES
High school boy’s basketball (3)
|Mike Bibby||1996-98||Phoenix Shadow Mountain||2014|
|Jason Stewart||1997-99||Encinitas (CA) San Dieguito||2014|
NOTE: Mike Bibby is returning as Phoenix Shadow Mountain although his son Michael Bibby Jr. is off to college playing at South Florida as a freshman this season. “I’d like to eventually move onto bigger and better things,” Bibby Sr. told the Arizona Republic. “I don’t know when that will be. We’ll have to wait and see. I definitely would like to move up in the ranks. Maybe go to college. Maybe the NBA some day.”
Men’s college basketball (4)
|Craig McMillan||1984-88||Santa Rosa (CA) JC||2000|
|Josh Pastner||1996-00||Georgia Tech||2016|
NOTES: Jason Gardner is 23-40 after two seasons at IUPUI but there is optimism his team will become a challenger in the Summit League this season. Media in the region where Gardner coaches is impressed with his assemblage of talent, most of which is from Indiana, where basketball rules. … McMillan is entering his 17th season at Santa Rosa with a career record there of 334-167.
Damon Stoudamire’s coaching debut at Pacific is Fri., Nov. 11, at UCLA. Do you think memories of his rivalry with the Bruins when he played at Arizona will go through his mind more than once?
Josh Pastner has his hands full taking on the Georgia Tech job. “It’s a startup company,” he told the media recently. “They’ve (Georgia Tech) hit the reset button. Basically, start from ground zero and try to build it back up, and knowing that it’s going to take some time to do that. They didn’t make that decision saying we’ve got to try to win right now, that it’s make or break this year. It’s like, ‘Hey, we’re just kind of completely blowing it up and starting over.'”
Georgia Tech may have the worst power-five roster I’ve ever seen. Yellow Jackets won’t win a game in ACC play this season. Book it.
Men’s professional basketball (4)
|Matt Brase||2003-05||Rio Grande (D-League)||2015|
|Reggie Geary||1992-96||Nagoya (Japan)||2015|
|Steve Kerr||1983-88||Golden State (NBA)||2014|
|Luke Walton||1999-03||L.A. Lakers (NBA)||2016|
NOTES: Brase, Lute Olson’s grandson who is a former Catalina Foothills standout and Arizona walk-on, is starting his second season with Rio Grande. Former Arizona center and graduate assistant Joseph Blair has rejoined Brase as a Rio Grande assistant this season. … Geary is 6-1 to start the season with Nagoya, which includes former ASU center Jordan Bachynski.
Mark the calendar: Steve Kerr and Luke Walton are scheduled to coach against each other for the first time Nov. 4 at the Staples Center when the Warriors face the Lakers. It will be the first time two former Arizona players coached against each other in the NBA as head coaches.
Steve Kerr on Luke Walton: “He was born to be a Laker. We just borrowed him for a few years.”
College baseball (2)
|Tod Brown||1990-94||North Dakota State||2007|
NOTES: Tod Brown, inducted into Sabino High School’s Hall of Fame this year, enters his 11th season at North Dakota State. Brown has a record of 244-274 at a program that did not place an emphasis on baseball until he got there. … Utah won the outright Pac-12 title last season under Kinneberg, who is entering his 13th season with the Utes. Utah finished first last season after four consecutive last-place finishes.
Professional baseball (2)
|Shelley Duncan||1999-01||Class A Hillsboro (OR)||2015|
|Terry Francona||1977-80||Cleveland (MLB)||2013|
NOTE: Despite using a league-record 63 players (the previous high had been 56), Shelley Duncan’s Hillsboro team made the Northwest League playoffs and finished with the second-best half in franchise history, going 23-14 in the second half this season.
The national media has picked up on the discussion of Terry Francona being a certainty for the Hall of Fame as a manager, which would make him the first Arizona player to earn that honor.
Women’s college basketball (2)
NOTE: Brenda Frese is entering her 18th season as a head coach — 15th at Maryland — with a career record of 428-138 while Adia Barnes is embarking on her first head coaching assignment at her alma mater.
Adia Barnes has that fighting spirit and personality that can finally make a difference in Tucson.
High school football (8)
|Marcus Bell||1996-99||Eager Round Valley||2011|
|Robert Bonillas||1995-98||Desert View||2012|
|Mark Keel||1979-82||Silverdale (WA) Central Kitsap||2000|
|Clarence McRae||2003-04||Mountain View||2012|
|Antonio Pierce||1999-00||Long Beach Poly||2014|
NOTES: Former Arizona linebacker standout Marcus Bell has coached Round Valley to the 2A East title with a 9-0 record heading into the regular season finale Friday against visiting St. Johns. … Bonillas’ Desert View team is 7-2 after last night’s loss to Marana. … Keel is in his 17th season at Central Kitsap with a record of 88-81. … Brandon Sanders has the Pueblo Warriors 6-3 heading into a big game at Amphi (7-2) on Friday.
Maybe the Antonio Pierce connection with Long Beach Poly can pay off in Arizona’s recruitment of twins Keon and Kejuan Markham, high-caliber wide receiver and safety, respectively
2019 WR and twin bro of Kejuan with an Arizona offer as well. Both bros play for Long Beach Poly https://t.co/i27hdsgoWx
College softball (3)
|Leticia Pineda-Boutté||1995-98||Washington-St. Louis||2006|
NOTES: Debby Day is a coaching veteran at Cal Lutheran having completed 14 seasons with a record of 261-283. … Kristie Fox coached UTA to a 29-20 record, the most wins since achieving 30 in 2011. UTA won 19 straight games to start last season, a record start for the program. One highlight of the season was knocking off No. 5 Louisiana 3-1, limiting one of the best offenses in the nation to six hits. … In 11 seasons, Washington University in St. Louis coach Leticia Pineda-Boutté (Leh-tee-cee-uh Pih-NAY-dah Boo-TAY) has posted a 351-133-1 overall record, good for a 72.5 winning percentage. The Bears have recorded 11-straight seasons of at least 25 wins under Pineda-Boutté, and have won six University Athletic Association (UAA) titles and made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances. They went 35-12 and advanced to the regionals last season.
High school softball (4)
|Jackie Coburn||2002-05||Scottsdale Horizon||2013|
|Jody Pruitt||1990-93||Peoria Sunrise Mountain||2011|
NOTES: Amy Baray-Rocha was the Arizona Big School Coach of the Year in 2015, her first season as a head coach. Interestingly enough, Baray-Rocha and Tucson’s Danielle Rodriguez coached against each other in last year’s state playoffs with Salpointe coming out on top 13-7 in a Division II elimination game. … Jackie Coburn is 64-34 in three years at Horizon and achieved region titles in 2014 and 2015. … Two years after her hire at Peoria Sunrise Mountain, Jody Pruitt coached her team to a Division II state title with a 35-1 record. She is trying to rekindle that magic after not making the playoffs in 2014 and last year. Sunrise Mountain reached the quarterfinals in 2015.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.