The impressive run to the state tournament enjoyed by the Glendale Community College baseball team last spring resulted in a slew of All-Conference, all-state and even All-American honors for various members of the Vaqueros.
When it was all said and done, Glendale Coach Chris Cicuto was as decorated as any of them, having been named the Western State Conference South Division Coach of the Year, the Southern California All-American Team's Coach of the Year and finally the American Baseball Coaches Assn. Diamond Sports Co. Pacific Assn. Division Coach of the Year.
Cicuto will be honored tonight at the ABCA National Convention Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet at the Anaheim Hilton, where he will officially receive his coach of the year award.
"There was a whole bunch of awards that I ended up getting [in 2011], but this was just kind of the final one that was unbelievable," said Cicuto, who was notified of his winning the award in July, 2011. "I'm completely honored and shocked that I got that award, but it's an award that my [players] and my coaching staff allowed me to get.
"It's a complete honor to represent not only our conference, but Southern California, nationally."
Cicuto coached the Vaqueros to the WSC South Division title, their first since 2002, in a tight five-team race that came down to the final day of the regular season. The heroics of players such as Sean Spear, Chris Stroh and Erik Suarez, as well as pitchers Ryan Sherriff, Nick Woodward and numerous others propelled the Vaqueros through the regional round of the California Community College Baseball Playoffs, on past the Super Regional Championships to the clinch the program's first state berth under the tournament's current format.
The Vaqueros reached the tournament semifinals to cap off the finest season in program history.
Cicuto credited his staff, which included Alex Kocol, Brady Anderson, Ivan Lopez, Matt Stone, Chris Casey, Jason Plourde and Mark Kertenien.
"The season's over now and we're moving on to 2012, but to still get these accolades from last year is really kind of neat," Cicuto said. "I'm looking forward to going down there. A lot of our coaching staff will be at the dinner, a lot of coaches from around the conference and players supported me, so it's been a heckuva of a year.
"It's a staff award is what it boils down to. I had a great coaching staff and great kids who put me in a situation to succeed."