This award is no solo act |

This award is no solo act

Coach of the Year may sound like an individual award. Dave Humphers prefers to call it a program award ” and more.

“I’ve always felt it was a team with parents, coaches, teachers, administrators and the community all working together for the benefit of the young people who we teach,” he said.

Coming off a season in which the Miners went 12-1 and won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship, Humphers will be honored June 17 at the 49th annual California Coaches Association Coach of the Year and Hall of Fame Banquet at the Doubletree Inn in Sacramento. Humphers, who has compiled a 145-33-2 record with eight league and three section championships in 15 seasons as head coach, is being honored as the association’s state football coach for 2005-06.

“This is very nice … huge,” Humphers said of the award. “It’s a thrill to me and I’m really thrilled for the program.”

Humphers covered a lot of ground in calling it a program honor.

“No program can succeed without a great staff of coaches and we’ve been fortunate to have many who care for the young men they work with every day … Geno (Stephan) … Brad DalBon … Gary Sharpe … Mitch Giles … Dan Murphey … Mike Cartan … coach Kiwi and coach Flores in the Junior Miner program … and many, many others,” Humphers said. “No program can be strong without strong administrative support, so I have to give credit to our principal, Marty Mathiesen, and our athletic director, Steve Pilcher, along with the high school district and the school board. And we have a community that is very supportive and passionate about young people.”

The kids are what it’s all about.

“To me, it’s mostly about the many, many young men who have come through the program. It’s been an honor to me to work with those young men who have been willing to work hard in both the classroom and on the field. They are the ones who have created that aura of what Miner Magic is.”

Before he took over as head coach at Nevada Union, Humphers spent seven seasons as an assistant under Randy Blankenship. Humphers and Blankenship actually started together as assistants under Gerry Kundert and Don Brown at Mira Loma.

“I played for them and then coached under them. They were great mentors who very instrumental in my education,” Humphers said.

Of course, Humphers also took time to share Coach of the Year honors with his family.

“I have to credit my wife, Dorene, for her amazing ongoing support, as well as our three children: Gabe, Hank and Sophie,” he said.

Nevada Union defeated Merrill West, 46-7, in the section finals on Dec. 10 in Stockton. The Miners also won back-to-back section titles in 1993-94 and lost in the 2004 section final.

Championships and awards are a “byproduct of great passion and vigor,” Humphers said, adding the importance of behind-the-scenes work. Among those are the morning workout sessions in the weight room during the offseason.

“Championships are won on a thousand invisible mornings,” Humphers said.

Note: Coaches in all sports from around the state will be recognized as part of the evening’s program. Part of the Saturday night program will be the induction of coaches into the association’s Hall of Fame. Among those will be Tracy High football coaching legend Wayne Schneider, who logged a 224-59-5 in 26 seasons as coach for the Bulldogs. Schneider, who is still a familiar sight at home games for both Tracy High and Merrill West, won section Division I championships in 1982 and 1987, to go with 16 league titles.


To contact sports editor Dave Price, e-mail or call 477-4240.

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