Todd Holthaus at any point when in need of getting the most out of Pima’s team can turn to a coach who came up with the strategy to win an NCAA tournament championship and another who is one of the top basketball coaches at the high school level to come through Tucson.
Jim Rosborough at this time 26 years ago was at the outset of a magical run with Arizona as Lute Olson’s right-hand man. He scouted Kentucky and put together the winning game plan negating Rick Pitino’s press to engineer a victory in the national championship game.
Fajardo coached the Salpointe girls basketball team from 2002-06, Sahuaro boys from 2007-09, and Catalina Foothills girls from 2009-14. In 2002-03, in his first season as a head coach, he led Salpointe to a 31-2 record and spot in the state championship game. That team tincluded Karlie Burris (now an assistant with UNLV’s successful program), Sybil Dosty, Kellie Olson (Lute’s granddaughter) and Christina Hurtado. In 2002-03 and 2003-04, the Lancers were 61-5 and did not lose to a team from Southern Arizona. Salpointe lost to unbeaten Gilbert Highland in the state championship game in the 2002-03 season.
Rosborough, 78, is in his eighth season as a Pima assistant coach with the women’s program (ninth overall because he was an assistant with the men’s team in 2009-10).
Fajardo, 59, is in his ninth season working with Holthaus.
Pima (25-7) is the No. 7 seed in the NJCAA Division II tournament that starts Tuesday at Purt Huron, Mich. The Aztecs will face No. 10 North Central Missouri (23-6) in the first round at 10 a.m. Tucson time.
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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.