Rodney Coffield Douglass A protege...

COACH OF THE YEAR

March 25, 2002

COACH OF THE YEAR

Rodney Coffield

Douglass

A protege of former Dunbar coach Bob Wade, who led the Poets to back-to-back unbeaten seasons in 1981-82 (29-0) and 1982-83 (31-0), Rodney Coffield took his place among city and metro area coaches who have run the table, by leading the Ducks to the greatest boys basketball season in school history.

Coffield, a police officer at Douglass, led Douglass to the school's first state championship in Class 3A and a 28-0 record to top Southwestern's 27-0 in 1996-97 which had been the best mark since Baltimore City public schools began participating in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association state tournament in 1992-93. It's the most wins since Dunbar's mythical national championship team in 1991-92 went 29-0 under Pete Pompey, a Douglass graduate.

Coffield was the sixth man on those Wade-coached powerhouses and uses a lot of his former coach's concepts. Douglass became the first team to win two games at Dunbar, and in the second for the city title, it won by 97-83 for the most points ever scored by an opponent at Dunbar. Upon ascending to No. 1, Coffield and his Ducks met the challenge of then No. 2 Walbrook with a 69-68 victory and went on to defeat No. 3 Randallstown in the region final. It posted wins over two other state semifinalists besides Dunbar in Mervo (4A) and Eastern Tech (3A) before outlasting Gwynn Park, 76-72, for the state crown. "It was a special team that loved each other and played for each other," said the sixth-year coach.

FIRST TEAM

Josh Boone

South Carroll, senior

When the Cavaliers lost their All-Metro guard, Marshall Strickland, on expired eligibility, many wrote them off. Boone stepped up big time and led South Carroll to the state semifinals for the first time in 13 years, something even Strickland didn't do. The 6-foot-9 senior center averaged 20 points, 14.4 rebounds and 7.0 blocks per game to earn Carroll County Player of the Year honors.

Boone, who was second-team All-Metro as a junior, used his long arms and athleticism to dominate in the paint. He led the Cavaliers (20-6) to their second straight Carroll County title and rolled through the Class 3A West region.

In region semifinal and final victories over Blake and Walter Johnson, Boone, who shot 54 percent from the field, had 62 points, 33 rebounds and 14 blocked shots to send the Cavs to Cole Field House. He is uncommitted for now.

Gerald Brown

Douglass, junior

One of the big guns on the state 3A champion Ducks, Brown, a 6-3 junior guard, averaged 19.9 points, 3.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game.

Brown was one of several high flyers on this talented team, shooting 55 percent from the field and 82 percent from the line. Some of his top games came in victories over then-No. 2 Walbrook, 69-68; a pair of wins at Dunbar; the 81-71 North region final over Randallstown; and the state tournament wins. After replacing Walbrook as The Sun's No. 1 team, the Ducks got a game-high 31 points and an assist on the game-winning basket from Brown against the Warriors.

In the 87-72 regular-season victory at Dunbar, Brown, who can penetrate and finish or spot up for a three-pointer on the perimeter, scored 22 points and topped it with 25 in the 97-83 romp at Dunbar to claim the Baltimore City title.

Richard Dorsey

Douglass, senior

This 6-8 senior center intimidated opponents and, as he said, "gave us momentum."

Dorsey, a transfer from New Foundation, an alternative school with no basketball team, averaged 11.7 points, 12 rebounds, 7.0 blocks and 3.0 steals for the 3A state champions. He delivered the game-winner on an assist from Gerald Brown in a 69-68 victory over then-No. 2 Walbrook after the Ducks had ascended to No. 1 for the first time in history. In two wins at Dunbar, Dorsey had 23 points, 23 rebounds and 11 blocks. He served notice in the first period of the first game against the Poets by ramming five shots back in their faces and delivered a two-handed dunk to ignite a 30-11 start.

In the two state tournament wins, Dorsey had 35 points, 24 rebounds and 10 blocks - 20 points, 12 rebounds and 8 blocks in the 76-72 final over Gwynn Park.

J.J. Outlaw

Mount St. Joseph, senior

Considered by many to be the premier guard in the combined Baltimore Catholic League/Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference, the 5-10 Outlaw moves up from second-team All-Metro his junior year to first team in his final year.

Outlaw averaged 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists for the No. 5 Gaels (24-8). His inspiring play led the Gaels on a nine-game winning streak down the stretch in BCL/MIAA A Conference play to finish 11-5 as the fourth seed in the 31st BCL Tournament.

An All-Metro pass receiver, Outlaw has a football scholarship to Villanova, but may try to make the Wildcats' basketball team as a walk-on.

Laronja Owens

Annapolis, junior

Anne Arundel County's Player of the Year, the strong and physical 6-foot-1, 190-pound Owens is the first Panthers underclassman to surpass 1,000 career points.

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