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Waite named California Coaches Association field hockey coach of the year

Fallbrook High School field hockey coach Kathy Waite was named the state’s field hockey coach of the year by the California Coaches Association.

Waite will travel to Fresno to receive her award at the association’s banquet June 19. The California Coaches Association honors coaches in each CIF sport and also honors an assistant coach, a rookie coach, a boys athletic director, a girls athletic director, and an official with annual awards while bestowing Hall of Fame, distinguished service, lifetime achievement, media, and mentor awards upon other recipients.

“I’m very honored to get the award,” Waite said.

Waite will be one of three CIF San Diego Section coaches to receive awards; Julian Friesen of Steele Canyon High School will be honored for gymnastics and Jeff Kepper of Helix High School will receive the boys soccer award. The three Hall of Fame inductees include Poway High School wrestling coach Wayne Branstetter.

“I really attribute it more to the girls and their dedication than anything else,” Waite said. “They’ve made it a wonderful career.”

Waite is the third Fallbrook High School coach or athletic director to receive the California Coaches Association award. Marty Hauck was given the award for girls track and field in 1996, and Heather Schulte was named the state’s girls athletic director of the year in 2002.

“Without the athletes and their dedication, and their parents and their dedication to their child’s career, we could not have been as successful and had as good a program,” Waite said. “I’ve just been blessed with great parents.”

Bill and Kathy Waite married in 1989 and moved from Fallbrook to San Clemente that year. “Without Bill’s support I probably wouldn’t be coaching, so that’s another bonus,” Waite said.

Waite also credited the high school and school district administration. “They have been very, very supportive,” she said. “When you have the principal, athletic director, superintendent at your final playoff game I think that’s pretty neat.”

Fallbrook reached the 2009 CIF Division I finals before a loss to San Pasqual. The Warriors finished the season with a 20-7 overall record, including two CIF playoff wins and the championship loss, for the second 20-win season in school history. Fallbrook also reached the finals of the Serra Tournament for the first time before a 1-0 loss to Scripps Ranch.

The National Field Hockey Festival takes place after the end of the CIF field hockey season, so the team coached by Waite and consisting mostly of Fallbrook High School students cannot officially represent Fallbrook High School and calls themselves the Guac Girls instead of the Warriors. In the November 2009 National Field Hockey Festival the Guac Girls won their pool for their first-ever pool win at the National Field Hockey Festival.

The conclusion of Waite’s 28th CIF season as the Warriors’ head coach gave her a cumulative record of 374-169-20 in 563 games (most field hockey matches which are tied after regulation are decided on penalty-shot strokes, but if a tournament does not use strokes the matches count as ties in overall records). Waite has won eight league championships as Fallbrook’s coach, earning titles in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2001, and 2005. In 1989 the Warriors were undefeated in league competition. She coached the Warriors to CIF championships in 1986 and 1991 and took Fallbrook to the CIF finals in 2005 as well as in 2009.

Waite’s field hockey legacy also includes the performances of 35 girls who have subsequently played collegiately. Waite also serves as the sport’s Avocado League representative to the CIF.

“I’ve been so impressed with her as a coach,” said Fallbrook High School athletic director Patrick Walker.

“She’s able to push the kids and still have this great rapport and relationship,” Walker said. “She’s so dedicated to the kids. Her team grade point averages are always very high.”

Waite graduated from Marina High School in Huntington Beach and received a physical education degree and teaching credential from Long Beach State. She joined the Fallbrook High School faculty in 1977 and coached various sports before becoming Fallbrook’s junior varsity field hockey coach in 1981. When varsity coach Ginny Krauszer took an administration position, Waite became Fallbrook’s varsity coach for 1982-83 (field hockey was a CIF winter sport until becoming a fall sport in 1983). At one time Fallbrook High School had separate boys and girls physical education departments (which were separate from the athletic department chaired by the athletic director), and Waite chaired the girls’ PE department. In the mid-1990s Waite started the Potter Junior High School field hockey program.

“I want to make a difference, and I hope that I’m doing it,” Waite said.

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