This year was the hardest year we’ve ever had selecting Coaches of the Year, with six Moore League teams winning CIF Southern Section championships and a number of others pulling off dramatic turnaround. Every coach deserves a salute for bringing a team onto the playing field during such a turbulent year, but we’re choosing to recognize a coach who won her first CIF-SS championship, as well as a coach who’s won a boatload.
Torie Frapwell, Millikan Tennis
The circumstances of this past season added additional strain on many coaches, and Millikan tennis coach Torie Frapwell was certainly one of them. As the head coach of both the boys’ and girls’ tennis programs, Frapwell had both her sports competing simultaneously this year, but still found a way to make history at her alma mater.
Over the course of the season, the Millikan boys’ tennis team won the Moore League title for the first time since 1997, had both finalists in the Moore League individual tournament (won by Rams sophomore Andy Nguyen) and went on to claim the school’s first-ever CIF tennis championship in Division 4.
“We started this season looking for that Moore League championship and this wasn’t even in our sights,” said Frapwell after the CIF title win. “I didn’t know any of the history going into it either. I knew we hadn’t won any time recently – to not have one ever was news to me. It’s awesome to be able to pull this off and finish No. 1.”
Carl Buggs, Long Beach Poly Basketball
Carl Buggs is one of the most successful coaches currently active in the city and no success of his Long Beach Poly girls’ basketball team should be considered a surprise. After all, his Jackrabbits had won six CIF State titles and six CIF-SS championships prior to this year. But on the first day of practice this year Buggs had a roster with four experienced varsity players, including only one with a Division 1 scholarship.
Over the course of the year, Buggs’ team improved as much as any we’ve ever covered, going from a 53-point loss to Mater Dei early in the season to a 12-win streak to finish the season, with CIF-SS Division 1 and CIF State Southern California Division 1A championships. In their eight playoff wins, they held opponents to under 50 points in seven games, and under 40 points in three games.