All-Bee boys golf Coach of the Year: Tom Deel, Clovis West

The Fresno BeeJuly 16, 2012 

Years as coach: 10

He's chosen because: Directed Clovis West to its third appearance in the CIF State Championships (where the Golden Eagles placed sixth), their fourth Central Section team title and 10th straight Tri-River Athletic Conference crown. Earned trip to state with a third-place finish at the Southern California Regional. "Our season was long. We had tryouts in January and finished up June 6. To keep a team going that long and that hard, it says a lot about the character of the kids," Deel said. "It was a team effort all the way. They have the will to win. That's the key to this team."

Sum of the parts: While James Trevino won the Central Section individual title and Jeffrey Yamaguchi had the second-best round of the day at the section team championships, no Golden Eagle averaged better than Trevino's 74 and no worse than Grant Yamaguchi's 78.4 in Tri-River Athletic Conference action. Russell Takeuchi (74.8), Jeffrey Yamaguchi (75.8), John Waldron (76.5), Brian Waterhouse (76.8) and Brandon Taylor (77) gave Deel a group of consistently strong scorers. "We were strong from top to bottom," Deel said. "We could have played anyone at No. 1 or No. 6. The thing about this team, someone always seemed to come through when we needed it."

Turning point: After a dual meet loss to Buchanan on March 29, Clovis West's streak of nine consecutive Tri-River Athletic Conference titles appeared to be in jeopardy. The Golden Eagles trailed Clovis North by three points. Deel and assistant Mike Paniccia challenged their players to win out and that's exactly what they did as Clovis West won three dual meets (including one against the Broncos) and three TRAC tournaments. "The teams we play game in and game out, Buchanan and Clovis North, it's not an easy feat," Deel said of keeping the TRAC title streak alive. "It's a tough league."

The future: Deel has been a head coach or assistant in various sports since the school opened in 1976. He's spent 38 years coaching football, softball and golf. And the 65-year-old plans to continue coaching as long as his health holds up despite retiring as an economics teacher three years ago. "I have people who ask 'why are you still doing this,' " said Deel said, whose Golden Eagles won the SoCal Regional title in 2008. "And I say because I love it. I love the challenge and I love the kids."

The reporter can be reached at nickg@fresnobee.com, (559) 441-6103 or @NickG_FB on Twitter.

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