When Highland's girls basketball team walked off the Glendale Arena floor last March with a 5A state title victory over St. Mary's, even coach Miner Webster was stunned.
‘‘I think about that a lot,’’ Webster said. ‘‘I'm still saying to myself, ‘Was that a dream? Or did it really happen?’ ’’
Looking back at Webster's coaching career, one shouldn't be surprised at what he and his teams have accomplished.
The longtime Gilbert High and Highland coach shoots for win No. 500 in his 18-year career today when the Hawks visit Fiesta Region rival Mesquite at 7 p.m.
Since Webster notched win No. 400 on Dec. 10, 2002, the amiable coach has
added more than just an additional 99 wins.
To wit: The Hawks have won two 5A titles — the program's first at that level — taking their total to four in 13 years of existence.
They finished a perfect 35-0 in 2002-03. Last season, they made it two crowns in three years with the shocking triumph over Dymond Simon, Nicole Neals, Kayli Murphy and the St. Mary's Knights.
Most coaches who win games in blocks of 100 take five or six years to secure that amount. Webster's pace amasses that total in a tad more than three seasons. His career coaching record is 499-69, an amazing winning percentage of .879. It's phenomenal success — an average of 28 wins per season.
Webster explains it as best he can.
“The formula is having good kids, not necessarily great basketball players,’’ Webster said. ‘‘I've never had a kid go to ASU, or U of A or Stanford — someplace like that. But I've had a lot of kids who have been willing to work hard and are coachable.’’
Webster said he can't and won't take credit for all the success. The program has consistently churned out winning teams at every level.
‘‘I've been fortunate to have dedicated coaches at the freshman and J.V. levels and they deserve a lot of credit for the development of kids here,’’ Webster said. ‘‘Great parents, a great administration . . . When you have that, it makes it a lot easier to be successful.’’