Zany year ends in triumph for Desert Mountain baseball coach Brian Stephenson
Life was good for Brian Stephenson heading into the baseball season.
It was his first year taking over as coach at Desert Mountain, and he knew from the get-go the Wolves had the requisite talent to compete for a state championship.
Desert Mountain began the season 24-4, but on April 19, Stephenson was a part of district-wide job cuts which terminated his physical education teaching position for next year. As a first-year teacher at the school after coming over from Westwood, he was lowest on the seniority totem pole.
Although his professional life was in flux, Stephenson never dwelled on it and the team moved forward. Sometime between then and Tuesday’s state championship game, he got his job back, although Stephenson said he couldn’t remember the exact date.
He deflected questions about the experience, instead wanting to focus on the players who had just captured the first baseball title in school history.
“I got my job back and it’s a great thing, (but) today it’s about those guys,” he said. “I’ll be fine. These guys accomplished something crazy special tonight. It’s about those kids over there, not me. I’m so god-dang happy for them. They accomplished so much.”
The Wolves defeated Chaparral, 4-3, in eight innings, and with his job secure, Stephenson will be back next season as the Wolves aim to defend their title.