COACH OF THE YEAR: RICH PARRIS
School: Madera South
He's qualified because: It wasn't that he merely captured a fifth consecutive Central Section title with the Stallions; what distinguished this one was that it not only came in Division I, but it established section history because it came in a third different division in the streak. The Stallions, representing a school where 85% of the students qualify for free and reduced-price meals, won D-III in 2008-09 and D-II in 2010-11 before blowing away the D-I field this season. Their 29 points missed a perfect score by only 14 and beat perennial power Buchanan by 35. They then placed seventh in the state. Parris, who ran at Fresno Pacific, is actually 10 for 10, having won five consecutive section championships at Madera from 2002-06 before leaving the community for a year, then returning in 2008.
He said it: "We knew we were going to have to climb a real tall mountain, getting promoted to D-I with still a young group and the difficulty of California cross country and how intense and impacted it is with talented programs. Not at one time did these guys take the attitude, 'We are the best.' It was, 'We are going to work to be the best.' This has been five years in the making, the training and philosophy and everything is where we wanted." -- Parris.