Another ‘nice gift' for Mira Mesa's Griffith

He's the state coach of the year for softball; top coaching honors are also determined for medium and small schools.

When the Mira Mesa High softball team of San Diego was No. 1 in the final state rankings, it was described as "a nice retirement gift" to head coach Brad Griffith by the San Diego Union-Tribune. Well, here's another one.

Griffth, who just completed a 35-year teaching career, has been picked as the 2002 State Coach of the Year for softball by Cal-Hi Sports (calhisports.com).

Mira Mesa (35-1) won its second straight CIF San Diego Section Div. II title under Griffith's guidance and was No. 1 in the final overall state rankings. The Marauders also were No. 2 in the final national FAB 50 spring rankings that were released on Tuesday by Student Sports. In addition to the section crown, Mira Mesa also won the Fred Davison Memorial tourney in Las Vegas by edging Brookside Christian of Stockton in the final. That turned out to be the only loss of the season for Brookside Christian.

Griffith has only become more well known for softball coaching in recent years. He also was a longtime football coach at Mira Mesa and his last hurrah was coaching current Stanford standout Teyo Johnson and Amon Gordon in 1999.

While Griffith won't be in the classroom the next school year, he said after this year's section final that he will be back on the softball field. And why not? Mira Mesa returns almost all of its players from this year's roster and will be a contender to be No. 1 in the nation.

Also chosen for top statewide softball coaching honors:

Medium Schools: Michele Biglow

(Freedom, Oakley)

This school is only four years old and already holds two CIF North Coast Section titles. The latest, which came on Memorial Day weekend, was tougher than the first since it was in the highest classification. Biglow was not the head coach of the first section title team -- Chris Noll was -- but along with top assistant Avelina Nielson she's built on that success over the last two seasons and has the Falcons dreaming of being one of the elite programs in Northern California.

Small Schools: Mike Greer

(Biggs)

Greer took a young team with only one senior and led them past favored East Nicolaus for a CIF Northern Section Div. V championship. In his three seasons, Greer has directed Biggs to a 40-4 record vs. Div. V schools, including 30-1 over the past two years. This year's squad finished 19-3 overall, but all three losses were schools with CIF Div. II enrollments.

State Softball

Coaches of the Year

(all selections by Cal-Hi Sports)

2002 -- Brad Griffith (Mira Mesa, San Diego) 35-1

2001 -- Gary Wallin (Thousand Oaks) 24-5

2000 -- Jo Anne Byrd (Corona) 28-4

1999 -- Jim Liggett (Carlmont, Belmont) 35-4

1998 -- Joe Given (Notre Dame, Salinas) 30-2-1

1997 -- Alan Dugard (Woodbridge, Irvine) 34-2

1996 -- Nancy Acerrio (Hilltop, Chula Vista) 27-2

1995 -- Marie Dean (Washington, Fremont) 27-0

1994 -- Joe Gonzalez (Foothill, Tustin) 25-7

1993 -- Jill Matyuch (Charter Oak, Covina) 29-0-1

1992 -- Jeff Carlovsky (Escondido) 26-2

1991 -- Kevin Newman (Gunderson, San Jose) 33-2

1990 -- Susie Calderon (Marina, Huntington Beach) 28-5

1989 -- Sharon Coggins (Buena, Ventura) 28-2

1988 -- Rich Kerr (Arroyo, San Lorenzo) 29-1

1987 -- Bob Regpala (Lincoln, Stockton) 30-0

1986 -- Dick Barnes (Arroyo, El Monte) 22-1

1985 -- Neils Ludlow (El Camino Real, Woodland Hills) 19-0

List continues back to 1974 in Cal-Hi Sports Record Book & Almanac.


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