Judy Kight’s numbers speak for themselves, a reason why the former Mead volleyball coach is the recipient of an Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters Dick Wright Certificate of Excellence.
Kight, plus three SWABS 25-Year Award winners – Shadle Park baseball coach Ron Brooks, North Central coach and longtime basketball official Chuck Filippini and Central Valley middle school wrestling advocate John Moore – were recognized by SWX television Saturday during the State 2B and 1B basketball tournaments.
All four had similar responses when asked about their careers, aptly summed up by Kight.
“It was the foundation of what I believe,” she said.” It’s not just for sports and competition, but the really important stuff that lasts and matters. It’s about teaching kids how to have positive working relationships with others, how to deal with conflict and growth.”
Nonetheless, Mead’s statistics under Kight are mind-boggling. No Class 4A coach has matched her record of seven state championships. The Panthers had a 583-150 win-loss record; 10 league, 11 district and 11 regional titles; qualified for 17 state tournaments with 15 top-four finishes during a career that ended a year ago.
She began competing in the sports available to women shortly after the inception of Title IX. She learned volleyball under an area legend, Shadle Park’s late Linda Sheridan, graduating in 1979, and continuing at Whitworth.
She got her head coaching chance at Mead and the rest is history.
Brooks and Filippini are longtime friends who haven’t strayed far from their roots, both teaching and coaching at their alma maters. Moore, a Central Valley district middle school teacher is a behind-the-scenes wrestling advocate.
Brooks graduated in 1973 from Shadle Park, played baseball in college and joined the staff full time at his alma mater 31 years ago. The Highlanders baseball coach’s legacy will be the grass-roots fundraising effort and installation of artificial turf at Shadle’s Al K. Jackson Field.
“There were a lot of highs and a lot of lows. There were times I thought to myself, ‘Am I in too deep to get out?’ ” Brooks said. “It’s amazing how many people stepped up and helped.”
The ever-upbeat Filippini teaches and coaches at North Central, from where he graduated in 1971. But he’s best known as a Spokane-area basketball official. He got his start while a student and place-kicker at Idaho, and is still at it 38 years later, the last five also serving as assistant assigner for the Spokane association.
“I’ve never missed an assignment,” Filippini said. “It’s one of the passions of my life.”
Moore said he became enamored of wrestling when he was 10 years old.
“Coming from a family of nine, including five brothers,” he quipped, “it was a matter of survival.”
Moore wrestled at West Valley and became a teacher and coach at middle schools in the CV district beginning in 1983. He twice was named Washington State junior high/middle schools coach of the year.
Moore became involved in a fledgling Spokane Junior Wrestling program, overseeing its growth from 225 to more than 800 participants. He is the “voice” of Central Valley wrestling and announces at various tournaments, most recently during the NJCAA nationals last weekend in Spokane.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of state champions and placers over the years,” he said. “I am passionate about wrestling.”
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