The 2014 State Coach of the Year is Margaret Mauro from Cathedral Catholic of San Diego, who guided the team to a 29-3 record and Division I section title. Other honors to Jim Maier from St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs and Russell Emberson of Taft.
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The big saying among players in the Cathedral Catholic of San Diego softball program is stand tall, talk small, play ball.
It’s probably okay, however, for the Dons to talk with a little bit of pride about their head coach now that the school’s longtime leader, Margaret Mauro, has been selected today as the 2014 State Coach of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports.
Mauro is the first San Diego Section honoree as State Coach of the Year in softball since Brad Griffith from Mira Mesa pushed the Marauders to a 35-1 record in 2002.
Cathedral Catholic didn’t quite go 35-1, but did finish 29-3 and was in the top 10 of the State Top 20 for a few weeks early in the season. The team ended No. 18 in the final rankings.
Mauro, who also is an assistant principal at the school, started her coaching career long before Cathedral Catholic even existed. Her first CIF San Diego Section title team, in fact, came at University of San Diego High in 1982.
Since then, Mauro coached softball teams at Uni to section titles in 1994, 1995, 2000 and 2001. Once Cathedral Catholic opened and Uni closed, she continued to have success although the first section title came just a few weeks ago.
Despite the Dons losing in a second-round game to Ramona in the double-elimination Division I tourney, they came back to win the title. They played Ramona in a final do-or-die game and won 6-1 behind the two-hit pitching of sophomore Devyn Magnett plus a three-run homer from senior Hannah Gilliland.
With her 29 wins from this season, Mauro moved up to No. 7 on the state’s all-time list of coaching leaders. She has a reported 654 wins and counting and also is the winningest coach in section history.
Another fact that made choosing her as the state’s best for the season a little bit easier is that this year’s team did so well even though Mauro only had two seniors on the roster.
In addition to Mauro, two others have been singled out for statewide coaching honors in softball for the 2014 season.
MEDIUM SCHOOLS COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim Maier (St. Paul, Santa Fe Springs)
In his first season back with the Swordsmen after spending 13 successful ones at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Maier helped put them in the CIF Southern Section Division III champions’ circle. St. Paul won the CIFSS D3 title with a 2-1 win over La Serna of Whittier (a team it had gone 1-2 against earlier in the season) to cap a 28-4-1 campaign. St. Paul also finished No. 1 in the final Division III state rankings. Maier served as the school’s head softball coach for 14 years in the 1980s and 1990s and had a 300-78 record, including the 1988 squad that won the CIFSS largest class title and was ranked No. 1 in the state. Maier then moved to Cal State Dominguez Hills and had 460 wins in 13 years.
SMALL SCHOOLS COACH OF THE YEAR
Russell Emberson (Taft)
Perhaps the best stat that encapsulates the dominance of Emberson’s teams at Taft the past two seasons is a 60-5 scoring advantage in the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs. This year’s team finished off a 36-2 season record with a 6-0 shutout of Liberty (Madera Ranchos) in the section final. Taft, which won its third straight section title, also was the Division IV State Team of the Year. Emberson, whose daughter, Caitlyn, was one of the team’s top players, has been at the school for 25 years and has spent 22 years as the softball head coach in two separate stints. He has also shown a preference to play as many Division I schools as possible. This year, one of the wins came against Division I semifinalist Clovis, which was 17-0 at the time and was ranked nationally.
All-Time List Cal-Hi Sports
State Softball Coaches Of The Year
2014 — Margaret Mauro, San Diego Cathedral Catholic (29-3)
2013 — Mike Smith, Chino (26-2)
2012 — Rick Robinson, Norco (30-2)
2011 — Scott Smith, Hollister San Benito (29-1)
2010 — Teri Johnson, Union City James Logan (25-5)
2009 — Tony Dobra, San Pedro (28-4)
2008 — Duane Zauner, Lake of the Pines Bear River (29-3)
2007 — Mary Jo Truesdale, Sac. Sheldon (29-1)
2006 — John Perez, Corona Santiago (26-5)
2005 — Art Banks, Roseville Woodcreek (28-6)
2004 — Pete Ackermann, Westlake Village Oaks Christian (34-1)
2003 — Rob Weil, Garden Grove Pacifica (31-2)
2002 — Brad Griffith, San Diego Mira Mesa (35-1)
2001 — Gary Walin, Thousand Oaks (24-5)
2000 — Jo Ann Byrd, Corona (28-4)
1999 — Jim Liggett, Belmont Carlmont (35-4)
1998 — Joe Given, Salinas Notre Dame (30-2-1)
1997 — Alan Dugard, Irvine Woodbridge (34-2)
1996 — Nancy Acerrio, Chula Vista Hilltop (27-2)
1995 — Marie Dean, Fremont Washington (27-0)
1994 — Joe Gonzalez, Tustin Foothill (25-7)
1993 — Jill Matyuch, Covina Charter Oak (29-0-1)
1992 — Jeff Carlovsky, Escondido (26-2)
1991 — Kevin Newman, San Jose Gunderson (33-2)
1990 — Susie Calderon, Huntington Beach Marina (28-5)
1989 — Sharon Coggins, Ventura Buena (28-2)
1988 — Rich Kerr, San Lorenzo Arroyo (29-1)
1987 — Bob Regpala, Stockton Lincoln (30-0)
1986 — Dick Barnes, El Monte Arroyo (22-1)
1985 — Neils Ludlow, Woodland Hills El Camino Real (19-0)
1984 — Aaron Ishikawa, Stockton Lincoln (37-1)
1983 — Carol Hamilton, San Diego Madison (23-1)
1982 — Rich Spiekerman, Lodi (29-3)
1981 — Leslie Steffen, Hanford (20-4)
1980 — Bob Bush, Santa Maria Righetti (29-0)
1979 — Barbara Weding, Santa Rosa Montgomery (26-1)
1978 — Peggy Linville, Fairfield Armijo (23-0)
1977 — Betsy Ward, Huntington Beach Marina (17-0)
1976 — Janet Balsley, Chula Vista Hilltop (17-0)
1975 — Sally Carmen, Downey Warren (19-1)
1974 — Sandi Behrmann, El Segundo (undefeated)