Best Coach

Al Hairston

When Al Hairston took over the boys basketball program at O'Dea High School before the 2010-2011 season, the former Garfield legend had nothing left to prove, having achieved Red Auerbach status as the coach of the Bulldogs in the '80s and '90s. Many men in this situation would coast on rep, but Hairston instead immediately molded the Irish into state title contenders after the program had slipped a bit prior to his arrival. Most coaches get too much credit when their teams succeed and too much blame when they fail. For Hairston, there's only success, and no amount of credit could settle the debt of gratitude his charges owe him for teaching them the value of top-flight cohesion. MIKE SEELY

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