The Edmond Sun

Sports

March 12, 2014

Cash Cowherd

USA TODAY recognizes Memorial basketball coach

EDMOND — USA TODAY representatives were on hand at Memorial High School Wednesday to recognize America’s best high school boys basketball coach, Shane Cowherd.  

With nearly 2 million votes cast for him alone, Cowherd pulled away from the second-closest contender, Joe Fenlon of Tampa Prep in Florida in the last hours of voting.

“When I went to bed the night before, I said it looks like we will be going to Florida,” said Derek Samson, USA TODAY director of content for high school sports. “When I woke up the next morning I told Pat, ‘Well, it looks like we are going to Edmond, Oklahoma.’”

Pat Scanlon is the USA TODAY vice president and general manager of high school sports.

Scanlon said it is great to see community spirit like the Memorial students showed in getting Cowherd selected, and it has always been communities the size of Edmond that band together and make it happen.

“Everyone in this gym today is a national champion,” Scanlon told the gymnasium filled with students.

He added it was great to be able to share in the Swine Week activities and the spirit the students showed as they raised money for the City Rescue Mission.

USA TODAY  high school sports selected six active high school basketball coaches in each state and Washington, D.C., for a total of 306 coaches, after more than a month of conversations with local media and other state/school officials with expertise.

From there the fans decided which basketball coach would emerge the winner.

“The Memorial students really went the extra mile,” Cowherd said before the Swine Week assembly where he received his trophy.

Two athletic organizations tweeted for their members to vote for him and Cowherd said it just took off from there.

In addition to being named America’s best high school boys basketball coach and receiving a crystal trophy, Cowherd also won $2,000 for his school’s athletic department.

Including Cowherd, the eight regional winners were Frank Ostanik of Monroe Catholic (Fairbanks, Alaska), I.J. Pinkham of Boothbay (Boothbay Harbor, Maine), Brendan O’Connell of Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.), Jack Doss of J.O. Johnson (Huntsville, Ala.), Dan Fleming of LaSalle (Cincinnati), Danny Fletcher of Rosepine (Rosepine, La.) and Doug Robison of Billings West (Billings, Mont.).

Joining those eight in the final round were two wild card entrants receiving the highest number of votes nationally without winning their region. They were John Mirabello of Northwest Catholic (Hartford, Conn.) and Fenlon.

 

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