With 2011 quickly coming to an end SB Nation Arizona has decided to give out its first ever 2011 End of the year Awards or EOYAFSBNA's for short. Over the next four days we will be giving out awards for the best of the best in Arizona Sports in the year 20111. First up is Arizona Coach of the Year.
The Choice: Kirk Gibson: Manager, Arizona Diamondbacks- Although there were plenty of outstanding coaching jobs done all over the state of Arizona in 2011, Gibby takes the cake.
In his first full season as the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Gibson went 94-68 and led the Diamondbacks to the NL West Division Title. Gibson led the snakes back to the postseason for the first time since 2007 and Arizona was one win away from advancing to the NLCS.
Gibson took a team that had been underachieving the past three years and got the best out of them. When their shortstop, Stephen Drew, was lost for the season, Gibson and his team did not miss a beat. Gibson knew when to be agressive this season, and he knew when to lay back and let his team play baseball.
The most impressive trait that Gibson showed in 2011 was the ability to get the best out of his players. Most would say the D-Backs did not have the most talent in the NL West. However, Gibson took what he had and got the most out of it. Guys like Ryan Roberts, Gerardo Parra and Ian Kennedy all had career years under Gibson. Even Aaron Hill put up major numbers after he was acquired from the Blue Jays.
It looks like Kirk Gibson will be with the Diamondbacks for many years to come which is a good thing for Diamondback fans. Right now, Kirk Gibson is the 2011 Arizona Coach of the year from SB Arizona.
Honorable Mention: Sean Miller, U of A Head Basketball Coach- Miller was a very close second. In his second season at the helm of the Wildcats Miller led the team to a 30-8 regular season record and was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Miller brought U of A back to basketball reverence in 2011 leading them to the Elite Eight, a loss against eventual national champion Connecticut 65-63. Miller is set up for years at U of A as he has the number one ranked recruiting class ranked by ESPN for 2012.
Who do you think is the 2011 Arizona Coach of the Year?