Two area college coaches and a longtime wrestling official were honored with Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters 25-Year Awards during Wednesday’s Youth Awards Luncheon at the Spokane Ag-Trade Center.
Steve Hertz, who retired as Gonzaga University baseball coach following the 2003 season, and Irene Matlock, who announced her retirement as Community Colleges of Spokane volleyball coach after the fall season, both completed illustrious careers.
Rich Tschirgi, a Medical Lake teacher is still active as a high school wrestling referee.
Hertz was head coach 24 years for the Bulldogs, beginning in 1976, but his roots go back 35 years as player and assistant coach.
His first Gonzaga team went 33-14 and missed by a game of a trip to the College World Series. Overall he compiled a 637-627-6 record and was five-time Coach of the Year in three conferences.
Currently Gonzaga University’s director for athletic relations, Hertz still coaches American Legion summer high school baseball.
Matlock spent 19 seasons as the Sasquatch head coach. Last fall she won her 700th collegiate volleyball match and finished her career with a 715-246 record.
Prior to that, Matlock’s Sandpoint teams went 101-8 and won several state titles and she was a pioneering club coach.
Matlock won the American Volleyball Coaches Association national coach of the year award in 1994 and several league and regional coach of the year awards.
Although he never wrestled, Tschirgi began officiating in 1971 and is still going strong having worked the 3A subregional tournament last weekend at East Valley. He has officiated at more than 25 district and regional tournaments and at eight state tournaments.
Additionally, Tschirgi, who taught from 1969-2000 and coached five sports, has held every board position during his tenure with the Inland Empire Wrestling Officials Association.
The Rockwood Clinic Trainer of the Year was also announced during the luncheon. The winner was Malarie Briggeman, a senior at Cheney who plans a career in sports medicine.
The program is sponsored by Rockwood Clinic and Briggeman was volunteering more than 1,600 hours as a trainer. She was on a team that took second place in the Washington Vocational Sports Medicine student forum state competition.
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