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Mercer Island golf coach earns ALL-USA Coach of the Year honors | Prep girls golf
Don Papasedero has worn many hats during his nearly 40 years of coaching high school sports, earning recognition for his efforts in football, basketball and baseball. Now, he can add national honors as a golf coach to the list.
The Mercer Island girls golf coach was named Coach of the Year by USA Today in its 2013-14 ALL-USA girls golf team selections. The national recognition was a first for Papasedero, though he has previously been named KingCo’s Coach of the Year in football and baseball, has earned recognition as an assistant basketball coach, and in 2008, was voted by his peers as the assistant football coach of the year from the Washington state coaches association.
Papasedero was surprised and honored by the news, saying he was very lucky to have been part of a program that is so good and has lasted so long. He said being recognized was a great testimony to the players and coaches, particularly mentioning girls golf instructor Tim Okamura.
“[Okamura’s] take was, we win eight KingCo titles in a row and during that time, there’s no coaching recognition. This year we lose one match, we don’t get the KingCo title and this occurs,” he chuckled.
Papasedero started the girls golf program in 1998 with then-boys golf coach Gary Adrian, and has since compiled a record of 148-21. He led the Islanders to a 75-match winning streak, which ended this spring in the KingCo regular season finale against Bellevue. The loss was only Mercer Island’s third since 2005. But the Islanders went on to win the KingCo medalist tournament and took the top spot as a team at the 3A Sea-King district meet. Mercer Island freshman Rachel Fujitani took home this year’s state singles title, while the Islanders finished fifth as a team at the state tournament.