An Unlikely Candidate, Medina, Named NCCAA West Region Coach of the Year

An Unlikely Candidate, Medina, Named NCCAA West Region Coach of the Year
ANAHEIM, Calif. - With only three schools in the region and two of them winless, Medina's nomination last year seemed to be by default. However, this year two new schools joined the NCCAA West Region and Medina was, once again, named Coach of the Year by her colleagues.
 
"I definitely do not feel worthy of the award, again, but I am so thankful for it and the recognition from my fellow coaches. It is such a blessing to have colleagues who recognize my team's hard work despite a win-loss record. This award was earned by my relentless players and loyal coaching staff, assistant coach Brittany White and volunteer assistant Elton Moore. I'm just a vessel."
 
Medina entered Bethesda University as a first time collegiate head coach with hopes of picking up where the former coach left off; unfortunately, her season was plagued with injuries early on. She and the Flames competed with 8 or less players the majority of the season. The starting point guard and leading scorer suffered a hairline fracture on her shin half way through the season and it cancelled the remainder of her games. At times, Bethesda took the court with just six available players. Medina and her two assistants sometimes joined practice so there could be enough bodies to complete drills.
 
The Flames also played one of the toughest independent basketball schedules this season by competing against NCAA Division I, II and III schools, along with NAIA Division I and II teams.
 
"Our players play hard for us in all circumstances." Medina stated, "When teams prepare to play us, they know they are never going to have an easy game despite our record. My assistants and I try to bring out the best in our athletes  on and off the court, and they have grown so much through all the adversity. I am excited to see what the future has in store for us all."
 
It is unheard for a coach to be nominated for this prestigious award with a record like Bethesda's, but the nominations show the level of respect, rapport and support that the West Region coaches have amongst one another.
 
"To coach at an institution like Bethesda University is a blessing, because it has made me stronger as a coach, mentor, leader and mother. I am forever thankful for the opportunity my AD, Leo Balayon, gave me by taking a chance on a young, yet passionate, coach such as myself and, also, thankful to the coaches in our region who voted for me." 
 
Along with being Coach of the Year recipient, three of coach Medina's Lady Flames were awarded with First and Second Team All-Region titles. Senior Taylor Smalley was named First Team, while Briah Nelson and Angela Steel secured spots in the Second Team.