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.’’
Miner Webster’s coaching career
School Year Record
Gilbert 1988-1989 19-7 Gilbert 1989-1990 21-6 *Gilbert 1990-1991 29-1 *Gilbert 1991-1992 29-2 Gilbert 1992-1993 25-6 *Highland 1993-1994 27-3 *Highland 1994-1995 32-0 Highland 1995-1996 28-3 Highland 1996-1997 29-2 Highland 1997-1998 32-4 Highland 1998-1999 28-6 Highland 1999-2000 30-6 Highland 2000-2001 28-6 Highland 2001-2002 32-1 *Highland 2002-2003 35-0 Highland 2003-2004 29-6 *Highland 2004-2005 32-5 Highland 2005-2006 14-5 TOTALS: Gilbert record 123-22;
Highland record 376-47; Total 499-69 * - Denotes won state title