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Another big honor: Westwood girls basketball coach Kurt Corcoran named BCAM Division 3 state Coach of the Year

Westwood head coach Kurt Corcoran, second from left, talks to his team during a timeout in the fourth quarter of the Patriots’ game against West Iron County in the MHSAA Division 3 regional semifinals held in Escanaba on March 11, 2019. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

ISHPEMING — The awards keep rolling in for the Westwood High School girls basketball team even in this season with a frustrating conclusion.

The frustration, of course, comes from the Patriots not being allowed to advance past the first game of the MHSAA Division 3 regional tournament due to nearly all sports called off the day of their next tourney game on March 12.

But possibly a salve for some of those wounds was another honor for Westwood — Kurt Corcoran was named the Girls State Coach of the Year in Division 3 by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan.

The BCAM points out that its awards are intended only for coaches, players and teams whose coaches are members of the group. However, a look at one of the group’s awards shows a large number in the state are members.

The Outstanding Senior Student-Athlete Award, given to one senior player on each team, showed about 300 recipients for 300 coaches out of about 750 schools playing sports in the state, about a 40 percent rate.

Corcoran was a finalist for the All-Upper Peninsula Coach of the Year in Divisions 1-3 that was won by Sault Ste. Marie’s Pat Bennin.

And the other finalist in D 1-3 was the U.P. region winner, Menominee’s Lucas Chouinard.

Corcoran and Chouinard were the only U.P. coaches listed on the BCAM top coaches list out of 20. The group says that regional coaches of the year are determined by BCAM member voting, with the state and overall coaches of the year selected by the Coach of the Year chair and committee.

The others top BCAM state coaches were overall winner Theresa Marvin of Byron, Division 1 winner Leigh Ann Roehm of Saline, Division 2 winner Jill Vander Ende of Grand Rapids West Catholic and Division 4 winner Ron Briney of St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran.

In his All-U.P. nomination, Corcoran was cited as a repeat winner of the West PAC Coach of the Year as his Patriots were also repeat champions of both the West PAC and Mid-Peninsula Conference.

In addition, Corcoran earned his 100th career varsity victory in February.

He was also able to meld his two senior all-state prospects, Madelyn Koski and Tessa Leece, with an up-and-coming group that included three sophomores — Natalie Prophet and his senior stars’ sisters Jillian Koski and Mallory Leece — with role players like senior Karlie Patrio and junior Ellie Miller into a team that was on the verge of its third straight regional championship after a 22-2 season.

Westwood’s only losses were to Menominee, which compiled a 20-0 regular season, and Negaunee, which went 16-7 and was second in the M-PC.

In future stories, more of the BCAM awards won by area coaches, players and teams will be listed.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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