FARMINGTON — For the second time in three years, the Piedra Vista softball coaching staff has been recognized as the best coaching staff in their region.
This week, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association named the Lady Panthers' staff the West Region Coaching Staff of the Year. The West Region includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
"The cool thing about this award is it recognizes the entire staff. It is humbling when you think about how many different states it is out of and how many coaching staffs are out there," said PV softball head coach Kevin Werth, who was named the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in June. "Obviously, I have been fortunate enough lately to be recognized, but without these coaches with me, none of that would be possible."
Werth is assisted by Frank Whalen, Tommy Ward, Bryan Chavez, Tim Turman, Cary Moone, Pete Yazzie and Diondra Bond. The team coached the Lady Panthers' softball team to an eighth consecutive 4A state championship in May.
The PV staff was also chosen for the award in 2011.
"It is really nice. Our girls work so hard all the time, and it is really a pleasure to be a part of," said Chavez, who started with Werth at Shiprock High School 15 years ago. "With Kevin setting the standard like he does, all of us work as hard as we can for the girls and for him. We all work together so well."
By being chosen as the best in the West Region, the PV coaching staff is now up for the national award, which will be announced at the end of the month.
"It is humbling to think we are thought of that highly," Werth said.
Despite all the attention and accolades, Werth said he doesn't plan to leave PV any time soon for a bigger job.
"I don't foresee it. PV is the place to be," Werth said. "That is where we all love. To be honest, one of the things that has helped our success is the fact that we have had stability. Myself, Whalen and Ward have been together since day one, and Chavez came along not too long after that. We have added Turman, Yazzie, Moone and Bond along the way. Without all of them working with our younger groups day in and day out, we wouldn't be here. Each one has their own responsibility in the program, and that is what dictates our success."John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.