The Gazette Girls' Golf Coach of the Year: Shane Brown, Pine Creek

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Photo - Shane Brown, Pine Creek-The Gazette Girls' Golf Coach of the Year.
Shane Brown, Pine Creek-The Gazette Girls' Golf Coach of the Year.

The season started with promise and a challenge.

It ended in history, all in part because Pine Creek coach Shane Brown urged his girls' golf team not to settle for what was good enough in the past.

"I encouraged them to think about something they've never done," said Brown, The Gazette Girls' Golf Coach of the Year. "None of our programs had ever won regionals, and no girl had ever shot below 76. And we had never taken four golfers to the state tournament. We did all that this year, and I'm really proud of the girls and their ability to think big and play big."

The Eagles won the 4A regional title behind a school-best 71 from senior Elly Carlson. Then at the state tournament, Pine Creek finished strong, improving two spots over the final round to finish sixth in the team standings.

"We were the last ones off the green after state ended, and in a way, it was really sad when it was over," Brown said. "We were having that much fun. That's a testament to the camaraderie on the team that goes so far beyond golf. I knew that if we could get better every single day, success would take care of itself."

Brown's year wasn't just joyful on the golf course. In March, he and his wife, Bonnie, welcomed their first child, a son they named Kai.

"It's a very sweet time right now," Brown said.