National Coach of the Year

The Arizona Republic
July 6, 2002

Dobson's Nancy Ellis has been named national Coach of the Year by the
National High School Athletic Coaches Association.

When Nancy Ellis started coaching high school softball in 1968, she never expected her career to end like this.

Ellis retired as coach of Mesa Dobson High's softball team June 18 after more than three decades as a coach. Ten days later she was named national Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.

"It's more than I ever thought I'd get," Ellis said. "You just don't think about winning something like this. Probably the biggest is that I retired just 10 days before the presentation, but nobody knew I was retiring. It was decided before I announced my retirement. It was cool, it wasn't a 'she's retiring, let's give it to her' thing.

"It's just a perfect finish to a great career. You can't get any higher than that. I was inducted into the Arizona coaches' Hall of Fame in 1996, and I thought that was as high as I would go. I hadn't thought about winning something for the entire country."

Ellis has been the association's Region 8 (representing Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah) Coach of the Year four times, including this year. Her teams at Dobson have won three region championships and one state title.

Overall her teams have a 570-334 record (340-230 at Dobson) and have won 10 region championships and state titles in 1970 and 1990.


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The Last update: 6.28.2002