The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches announced the finalists and the winners for their yearly coaches award recently, honoring coaches around the state for their great work. Four coaches from each classification were announce as finalist, with just one winner in each category.
Dean Weese Outstanding Coach Award
The Dean Weese Outstanding Coach Award is given out to the best girls basketball coaches in the state of Texas. Finishing as a finalist in that category was coach Bill Giles from Saltillo. Giles has had a great career and showed more of that with another strong year this season.
After some deep playoff runs over the last few years, including a trip to the Regional Finals a year ago, the Lady Lions had a tough challenge up against them this season. Saltillo lost a majority of their team and would be relying on new faces to bring production.
Despite that, Saltillo still had a great year, finishing the season with a 21-16 record. The Lady Lions went 7-3 in district play, earning a trip to the playoffs.
Going up against Miller Grove in the opening round, the Lady Lions had a great game, winning by a final score of 63-34. Their season finally came to an end in the second round where they fell 43-34 to Slidell.
Don Coleman Outstanding Coach Award
The Don Coleman Outstanding Coach Award is given to the best boys basketball coaches in the state of Texas. Hopkins County saw not only another finalist in this category, but a winner, as North Hopkins’ Kelley Clark was named the winner in 2A.
The Panthers had an outstanding season, going an undefeated 10-0 in district play. Once they got to the playoffs they continued to shine, winning each of their first three playoff games by 10 or more points.
They took down Maud 49-37, before beating Bland 62-44 and beating Lindsay 62-48.
It wasn’t until the Regional Tournament when the Panthers season finally came to an end, where they ran into No. 1 ranked Lipan. After getting beaten out in the opening round of last years playoffs, North Hopkins saw one of the biggest year-to-year improvements of any team in the state.