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Coach Semler named AIA Coach of the Year

Gila Ridge High School boys soccer coach Corey Semler was named the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Coach of the Year it was announced Monday.

Semler, who coached football in the fall and soccer in the winter, led the Hawks to the first boys soccer state championship in school history, and the first in Yuma Union High School District in more than two decades.Corey Semler and his wife, Taylor

“I am deeply honored to be chosen for this prestigious award,” Semler said. “I have to thank my fellow coaches, trainers, administration and, most importantly, the players. Without the support of all of those, this wouldn’t be possible.” 

In Semler’s third season at the helm, Gila Ridge went 19-2-1, and advanced through the postseason with a 14-4 goal differential. Entering the playoffs at No. 5 in the 4A Conference, they captured the state title by knocking off three consecutive higher seeds, including No. 1 Tempe in the semifinals, and earned back-to-back shutouts from goalkeeper Charlie Vazquez.

“It was an incredible run for Coach Semler and the team this year,” Gila Ridge Athletic Director Brett Surguine said. “He exuded everything you would want from a coach. He was a leader, a great motivator, a tactician, teacher, and role model. The award is very well deserved.”

Semler was presented the award at the 2018 AIA Champions Awards Luncheon at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. His wife, Taylor, attended alongside him. 

Eric Patten