Fitting on the day that 28-year coach Steve Botkin reached a significant milestone of an abundance of wins that his Sahuaro team goes 3-0 in the process in the Lady Wolves Court Classic at Goodyear Estrella Foothills High School.
The Cougars’ first win Friday midday — a 59-15 triumph over Scottsdale Chaparral — earned Botkin his 600th career victory.
— Brittany Bowyer (@LittWithBritt) December 17, 2022
A 44-25 win over Buckeye Union and 80-6 victory against ALA-Anthem South improved his career record to 602-188. He is in his 22nd year coaching at Sahuaro after coaching six seasons to start his career at Rincon/University.
The Cougars (12-0) have the potential to play three more games Saturday if they win the quarterfinal and semifinal round to reach the championship.
Botkin is modest when it comes to his achievements. He’d rather talk about his players and his family.
“I just teach family to these guys,” Botkin told AllSportsTucson.com’s Brittany Bowyer after the first two wins on Friday. “We are a big family unit. Having my own personal family (daughter is an assistant coach) is the greatest part of coaching, seeing them there supporting every team that I’ve ever coached.
“I love Sahuaro. I’m a Sahuaro grad. My wife is a Sahuaro grad. Sahuaro is near and dear and true to my heart. I love it. It’s fun. I love wearing the red and blue.”
Botkin, 54, leads all Southern Arizona coaches in career victories.
He was hired to be the head coach at Sahuaro in 2001, replacing Jim Scott, who retired after 14 years as Sahuaro’s coach.
Scott has the third-most wins among Southern Arizona girls basketball coaches with 333. Mike Dyer, formerly of Marana, is second with 337 victories.
Another significant milestone is approaching for Botkin — his 500th victory at Sahuaro. His 22-year record with the Cougars is 495-122.
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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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.