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Munroe Headed to Coaches Hall

Posted: February 19, 2008 2:07 a.m.
Updated: April 21, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Former Hart head girls basketball coach Dave Munroe will be inducted into the Southern California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame March 1.

 

The 15 Foothill League championships, the two CIF-Southern Section divisional championships, the five-title game appearances and six semifinal visits - they all turned out to be hall-of-fame tickets for former Hart High varsity head girls basketball coach Dave Munroe.

Retired this past year after 18 seasons of championship banner-hanging with the Indians, the former coach will be inducted into the Southern California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame March 1 at a ceremony in Long Beach.

Munroe will be honored at halftime of the 6:30 p.m. Southern Section divisional title game at the Pyramid along with his friend and former rival Joe Vaughn, the longtime former coach of Buena High of Ventura.

"I was totally surprised," Munroe said of the news. "I said, 'What? You're kidding me. Joe Vaughn is a legend. To go in with him is a great honor."

The two are fitting choices to head in together. Both turned their programs into Southern California varsity girls powerhouses during lengthy careers.

Munroe and Vaughn first coached against each other when Munroe broke into the business as the junior varsity boys head coach at Crespi High of Encino. Where their rivalry really took off was in Munroe's first season coaching the Indians girls in 1990, when the two teams met for the Division V-A championship.

Munroe's team upset an unbeaten Buena squad to win the championship after losing to the Bulldogs by 18 points in the regular season.

Both coaches retired at the end of last season.

"Through our mutual respect, we became good friends," Munroe said. "Both of us had very good programs. When you look at his accomplishments, they're unbelievable."

Though Munroe hasn't returned to the Santa Clarita Valley since his move, he's been following the Indians.

He said assistant coach Bob Uchiyama has called him with updates after each of the league games. He's also spoken several times with head coach Zach Koebel, center Megan Ford, twin-sister guards Kelli and Caroline Lewis and has turned into an avid newspaper reader.

Even in retirement, he couldn't completely escape the coaching bug, co-leading a varsity boys tennis team during the fall along with his daughter, Jenny, but said it still failed to fill his personal lack-of-basketball void.

"I miss it," Munroe said. "Ask my wife. Once basketball season started, it started eating at me."

Along with the career validation, the ceremony could provide Munroe with a mini-fix for that problem.

He will take advantage of the opportunity and come to the valley a week in advance on Saturday and plans to take in a Hart playoff game should the Indians be alive for Saturday's CIF-SS Division I-A quarterfinals.

Hart, which captured its seventh consecutive league title in its first season of the post-Munroe era - sharing the crown with Saugus - first must get through a second-round matchup Wednesday at J.W. North of Riverside. A likely quarterfinal matchup for Saturday would be against Redondo Union of Redondo Beach, the No. 1 seed.

He'll keep his fingers crossed.

"I'm hoping Hart can keep things going, and I'm really hoping they can win the coin toss and play at home," Munroe said. "If they play at Redondo, I'll find a way."

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