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Papasedero named assistant of the year
Mercer Island coach Don Papasedero is known for many things. He has been the Mercer Island High School girls golf head coach, assistant girls basketball head coach and a teacher at the high school.
But Papasedero has earned the highest honor from his peers in high school — assistant football coach of the year from the Washington state coaches association.
“I was overwhelmed when I first got the news,” said Papasedero of the e-mail he received. “To be selected by your peers is a big thing and I am really honored.”
Each conference votes on one candidate for the award and then those coaches are voted upon by all the coaches in the state.
“He is passionate about our sport and he works hard,” said Nicholl. “He is a behind the scenes kind of guy and very professional.”
The award comes in a season where the Islanders missed the playoffs, but come from a division where the Bellevue football team has dominated the state landscape during the past six years.
“Any coach from our league is under the microscope because of how competitive it is each year,” said Papasedero, who has been coaching football for 32 years, 10 at Mercer Island High School. “Even in a mediocre year the state still hold our program in high regard and that comes from the top of our program.”
Papasedero is known state wide as a versatile coach as he has also coached baseball and been a head football coach.
“I think these awards are accumulative,” said Papasedero. “We didn’t have our best year but we are working hard. It’s just an honor to be on coach Nicholl’s staff.”
Nicholl said that Papasedero is one of the most prepared coaches he has known, watching more vidoe than anyone on the staff.
“He is our right-hand man and a huge part of this program,” said Nicholl.
Papasedero recently helped to produce an assistant coaches video with Nike and spoke at somoe football clinics on the Eastcoast.
“We flew to New England and I spoke at a coaches association clinic,” said Papasedero, who has been an assistant to five Washington State Coaches Association Hall of Fame coaches in his career.
But the awards and accolades are not what drives Papasedero.
“The award is nice but there is nothing compared to seeing the kids succeed,” said Papasedero.
The assistant coach said that the award is a reflection of the program that Nicholl has built over the past three decades at Mercer Island High School.
“To be associated with such a quality person is an honor in it self,” said Papasedero.