Vern Friedli Coach of the Year
Jorge Mendivil, Amphitheater
Named after legendary Amphitheater head coach Vern Friedli, our selection for the 2016 Coach of the Year goes to current Panther head coach Jorge Mendivil.
This was a very difficult decision this year.
There were several deserving coaches this year (Andy Litten at Marana; Robert Bonillas at Desert View; Pat Nugent at Cienega; Jeff Scurran at Catalina Foothills; Dennis Bene at Salpointe; Jay Campos at Sabino and Rishard Davis at Santa Cruz) so the selection was difficult.
Each one of the listed coaches turned programs around and had great success this year and I would agree with any arguments in favor of any of them for this award.
Mendivil took an 0-12 program (actually 1-16) and guided them into an 8-2 squad that won the 4A Gila Region championship.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com