For leading the Augusta Preparatory Day School Cavaliers basketball team to a 20-8 record, the Region 4-AAA region championship and finishing as state runners-up, head coach Mike Guthrie was named the Augusta Chronicle Independent Boys Basketball Coach of the Year.
The trip to the state finals was the furthest the Cavaliers had advanced since making the state semifinals in 1998 and the region title was the first for the Cavaliers since the 2008-09 season.
“I tell people all the stars aligned this year,” said Guthrie, the Cavaliers’ basketball coach since 2004. “We had the right players, we had the right coaches, we had the right support from the school and it all came together at the right time.”
Still, Guthrie knew the group built on seniors this year had a chance to be special early on.
“We knew four years ago this was going to be our year,” Guthrie said. “We knew the region tournament was going to be here. That’s a home advantage for you.”
Guthrie, who calls his coaching style cooperative, spread the credit for the team’s success.
“I like input from other people,” Guthrie said. “(Assistant coach) Steve Boyd with years of experience, he’s the reason we did what we did this year. He’s the guy with the experience, he knows our players really well since he teaches them in the classroom from that end.”
Matched up in the state Class AAA final against Stratford - what he called the consensus best team in the state - Guthrie said couldn’t have asked any more from his team.
“It was a great experience for us,” Guthrie said. “I told our kids to hold their heads high after it, walk out proud of what you did this year. Nobody expected little Augusta Prep making it to the state finals.”