COACH OF THE YEAR
Mario Morales, St. Anthony
It’s been an impressive three years for the Saints since Morales took over but literally nothing since 1948 compares to the season they just had. St. Anthony won its first league title in 15 years and the 11 wins is the most in program history. The Saints also dominated two playoff games and reached their first CIF semifinal since 1955.
“It’s amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish in just three years,” said Morales, who is 24-10 at St. Anthony. “I have to give credit to my coaching staff and these players. I always tell (my players) that coaches don’t win games but we were always well prepared thanks to these coaches.”
St. Anthony defensive coordinator Jimmie Irby is at the top of that list. He helped a very talented Saints defense limit their Santa Fe League opponents to 42 points in five games to finish the season.
“We knew when we got here we had a strong class,” said Morales of the Class of 2015 who went 3-7 as freshmen. “We changed the culture. These kids turned this program around, it wasn’t me, they’re my heroes. The guys returning are already hungry for more and we’re already looking forward to the upcoming season.”