One humble coach once said that coaches get too much credit when their team wins and not enough blame when their team loses.
The Valley is lucky to have coaches with immense knowledge for the sports and great care for the student athletes.
Below are the finalists Boys and Girls Teams Coach of the Year. Winners will be announced tonight at the All-Valley Sports Awards Banquet, co-presented by DHR Health and Lone Star National Bank. Finalists are listed in alphabetical order.
BOYS COACH OF YEAR
Johnny Cipriano, Santa Rosa basketball: Cipriano led the Warriors to a 23-9 record overall, a 15th straight District 32-3A title and to the regional tournament for the fourth straight year.
Nate Garza, San Perlita basketball: The Trojans won 28 games, a careerhigh for the fourth-year coach who led the Trojans to a second straight District 32-2A title and the program’s first regional tournament in 22 years.
Mark Guess, Brownsville Hanna football: Guess guided the Eagles to an 11-2 season and won an undefeated District 32-6A title. Hanna broke through to the third round of the playoffs for the first time in school history. Guess was named district 32-6A and All-Metro Coach of the Year.
GIRLS COACH OF YEAR
Elias Martinez, Harlingen South: The Hawks are 32-6 (8-2 in district) and reached the Sweet 16. They have reached that round in each of his four seasons there.
Omar Pedroza, Harlingen South girls soccer: In his 23rd season as the Hawks’ coach, Pedroza guided his girls to a 23-4 record and to the Region IV-6A Tournament final as the South girls came up one win short of qualifying for the UIL state tournament. It was the Hawks’ first time to reach the regional final since 2003.
Joey Rios, Lyford softball: The District 32-3A champion Bulldogs went undefeated through the regular season, winning their fourth straight district title, and finished the season 34-2, with their only losses to defending state champion Santa Gertrudis Academy in the third round of the postseason. The team reached as high as fourth in the state poll.
The banquet, hosted by RGVSports.com and AIM Media Texas in conjunction with the RGV Sports Hall of Fame, will see 33 awards presented to athletes, coaches and teams across all 12 UIL sports. The prestigious Tom Landry Award of Excellence will honor a student athlete for outstanding achievements.
Dallas Cowboys great Randy White, a Super Bowl MVP and NFL Hall of Famer, will be the guest speaker.
The banquet, which will run approximately 6 to 8 p.m., returns to Mario’s for a second consecutive year. The venue has a seating capacity of more than 500 people.
Tickets are on sale for $40 per person.