Doug Kautz led Ironwood Ridge to back-to-back state championships after his Nighthawks defeated Cactus Shadows 603 to 605 in November. Ironwood Ridge defeated Cactus Shadows 592 to 597 the year before. It takes great golfers to get that done but the slim margins means putting the right players in the right position to succeed.
For his effort, based on coaching in the 2019-2020 season, “lifetime community involvement, school involvement and philosophy of coaching,” Kautz was named Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) on Jan. 4.
The complete starting rotation for Kautz returns next year while Cactus Shadows graduated four of their standouts including individual state champion Calynne Rosholt. Nighthawk standouts Zoe Newell, Hannah Ports and Raina Ports tied for second place, Celia Schrecker took 12th and MaKenna Brown came in at No. 24.
Kautz lost the services of Kaylee Jewkes to graduation. Jewkes was part of the rotation that helped lead the Ironwood Ridge squad to the National Third Place finish at the High School Golf National Invitational in August. Jewkes joined the Ports sisters, Newell, Brown and Schrecker at that national tournament held in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Kautz also coached the Nighthawks to four AIA Sectional titles in five years and a state runner-up finish in 2018.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. 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. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org