Tucson High School Sports

With 14 state tennis championships in hand, Kristie Stevens set to move into administrative role with Amphitheater

Kristie Stevens (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Kristie Stevens coached Catalina Foothills to 14 team titles, 11 doubles championships and 10 singles championships but, as crazy as it seems, it all almost never happened. The school opened in 1993 and Melissa Hale brought home the first championship in school history. Her singles title came long before all the tennis, soccer and swim team championships started to pour in. Hale would do it all again the next year and the program was off and running.

As we noted in a story last March, Stevens was just looking to volunteer and she knocked on a door of a temporary building the day before the season started in 1993 and then temporary became permanent. Almost.


“It was time to move on professionally and explore my options,” Stevens said. “I applied for several administrative positions and my expertise and connections helped me get the job at Ironwood Ridge.”

It may come as a shock to some (especially in the media) but “coaching” doesn’t pay the bills in Arizona. A stipend that comes out to about $1 an hour doesn’t prepare an educator for professional advancement and it certainly doesn’t help with retirement. More and more coaches are leaving the sidelines behind for the financial and professional security of a job in administration and it’s understandable.

The Amphitheater School District pulled off a major coup Tuesday night and voted to confirm the hiring of Stevens to be the new assistant principal at Ironwood Ridge, most likely in charge of athletics. And why not?

Stevens earned the status of National Coach of the Year not once, but twice, and she was an easy early-entrant into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Her connections with the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) are almost endless and almost 30 years of working with parents and athletes at one of the most visible programs in the state cannot be matched.

“I’ve worked with David Hines (AIA Executive Director) and almost everyone at the AIA,” Stevens added. “I know all the procedures and all the requirements. This will be a great fit for me.”

Stevens will start with Ironwood Ridge in July and this will be her last spring with the girls at Catalina Foothills. Ranked No. 2 in Division II, the Falcons are almost always favorites come late April.

Will Stevens bring home 15 state championships? Only time will tell.

Sue Clark coached Tucson High to 10 titles from 1959 to 1972 and it’s very doubtful anyone else from Southern Arizona will come any closer than that.


Tucson (23)
1915: 5A (unknown)
1916: 5A (unknown)
1929: 5A (Nelda Taffe)
1936: 5A (Kathryn Young)
1937: 5A (Kathryn Young)
1938: 5A (Kathryn Young)
1945: 5A (Kathryn Young)
1946: 5A (Kathryn Young)
1947: 5A (Kathryn Young)
1948: 5A (Romaine Bower)
1949: 5A (Romaine Bower)
1950: 5A (Sally Henry)
1956: 5A (June Holcombe)
1959: 5A (Sue Clark)
1960: 5A (Sue Clark)
1961: 5A (Sue Clark)
1962: 5A (Sue Clark)
1964: 5A (Sue Clark)
1966: 5A (Sue Clark)
1967: 5A (Sue Clark)
1968: 5A (Sue Clark)
1971: 5A (Sue Clark)
1972: 5A (Sue Clark)
Catalina Foothills (14)
2000: 4A (Kristie Stevens)
2001: 4A (Kristie Stevens)
2002: 4A (Kristie Stevens)
2003: 4A (Kristie Stevens)
2004: 4A (Kristie Stevens)
2005: 4A (Kristie Stevens)
2006: 4A-I (Kristie Stevens)
2007: 4A-I (Kristie Stevens)
2009: 4A-I (Kristie Stevens)
2010: 4A-I (Kristie Stevens)
2011: 4A-I (Kristie Stevens)
2013: D-II (Kristie Stevens)
2014: D-II (Kristie Stevens)
2018: D-II (Kristie Stevens
Bisbee (10)
1921: 5A (unknown)
1959: 4A (Fred Corrin)
1961: 4A (Fred Corrin)
1964: 4A (Fred Corrin)
1965: 4A (Fred Corrin)
1966: 4A (Fred Corrin)
1967: 4A (Fred Corrin)
1968: 4A (Fred Corrin)
1969: 4A (Fred Corrin)
1970: 4A (Curtis McKale)
Salpointe (9)
1993: 5A (Jim Refkin)
1994: 5A (John Condes)
1996: 5A (John Condes)
2004: 5A (Perri Touche)
2006: 5A-I (Perri Touche)
2007: 5A-I (Perri Touche)
2009: 5A-I (Perri Touche)
2010: 5A-I (Perri Touche)
2011: 5A-I (Perri Touche)
Willcox (7)
1936: 3A (Dorothy Sawyer)
1955: 1A.2A (Cecil Miller)
1965: 1A/2A (Cecil Miller)
1965: 1A/2A (Doug Wagner)
1976: 1A/2A (Connie Truelove)
1992: 1A/2A (Anthony Prowell)
1993: 1A/2A (Bob Nelson)
Canyon del Oro (6)
1976: 4A (Ina Leffler)
1976: 4A (Ina Leffler)
1977: 4A (Bucky Hazon)
1978: 4A (Bucky Hazon)
1979: 4A (Bucky Hazon)
1980: 4A (Pam Reavis)
Tombstone (6)
1970: 1A/2A (Bill Symms)
1981: 1A/2A (Charlie Smith)
1983: 1A/2A (Charlie Smith)
1984: 1A/2A (Charlie Smith)
1987: 1A/2A (Charlie Smith)
1991: 1A/2A (Charlie Smith)
Pusch Ridge (5)
2007: 1A/2A (David Towne)
2008: 1A (David Towne)
2010: 1A (David Towne)
2017: D-III (Andy Fetsis)
2018: D-III (Andy Fetsis)
The Gregory School (5)
1999: 1A (Dale Long)
2000: 1A (Dale Long)
2001: 1A (Faith Hisey)
2008: 1A (Mark Swenson)
2011: 1A (Mark Swenson)
Benson (4)
1942: 1A-2A (unknown)
1956: 1A/2A (Bill Marquardt)
1990: 1A/2A (Annetta Follmer)
2016: D-III (JT Merrill)
Sahuaro (4)
1973: 5A (Betty Johnson)
1975: 5A (Betty Johnson)
1978: 5A (Karen Oliver)
1979: 5A (George Yuhas)
Nogales (3)
1981: 4A (Jody Moreno)
1984: 4A (Ron Guglielmo)
1985: 4A (Ron Guglielmo)
Sabino (3)
1992: 4A (Chuck Leggett)
1993: 4A (Chuck Leggett)
1995: 4A (Eric Anderson)
Sahuarita (2)
1983: 3A (Pat Paterson)
1998: 3A (Dee Christofers)
1985: 5A (Glenn Steimling)
Flowing Wells
1989: 4A (Paul Grissom)
Ironwood Ridge
2012: D-II (William Little)
1994: 4A (Roland Kotwica)
Santa Rita
1972: 4A (Maxine Tovrea)


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he 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. 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. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com
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