Las Vegas Sun

August 20, 2019

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Coach of the Year: Joe Sawaia, Coronado golf

Joe Sawaia

Christopher DeVargas

Joe Sawaia

Several head coaches around the Valley won state championships this year. Joe Sawaia might have been the only one to win two.

Sawaia coached the Coronado girls to their fourth straight state championship in the fall. In the spring, the Cougars’ boys captured their first title in six years—setting a state-record low in strokes at the Sunrise Regional championship.

Sawaia has also won 19 regional titles at Coronado, where he has coached since the advent of the golf program 17 years ago.


• Freddie Banks, Canyon Springs boys basketball: Led the Pioneers to a Sunrise Regional championship and state tournament berth despite returning only two players.

• Jessica Harrison: Mojave girls’ basketball: Coached the Rattlers to their first state tournament appearance with a memorable playoff run that included a triple-overtime victory.

• Cherise Hinman, Boulder City volleyball: Won the 3A state championship with a core group of players she started coaching in middle school, leaving the Eagles’ reputation as an uncompetitive team in the past.

• Grant Rice, Bishop Gorman boys’ basketball: Won his 11th state championship with the Gaels despite not being favored to do so at the beginning of the season.

This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.