Why he was chosen: Fannett-Metal lost several key players from last year's team and had to change its style of play, but never missed a beat ... The Tigers opened the season with 6 straight wins ... They finished Sideling Hill League play tied with Chestnut Ridge with 9-1-2 records, but when F-M defeated the Lions 2-0 in the District 5 Class A championship game, by league rule that gave it the SHL title ... It was also the first-ever District 5 championship for any Fannett-Metal boys athletic team.
Background: Best previously won P.O. Coach of the Year honors in 2005-6 and 2007-8 ... In his 8 years coaching at F-M, the Tigers have captured 3 Sideling Hill League titles ... He is a 1998 graduate of Fannett-Metal and earned a degree from Lock Haven University.
Best's quotes: On the season: "This was like a sweet dream and I couldn't ask for more. I've dreamed about taking a bunch of players to a title. It was also nice that I could share it with my brother, Todd (an assistant coach for the last 3 years). The kids really bought into what we asked for."
n On the expectations: "I knew we had a nice group of kids. They weren't flashy, but they played their roles and did the job. We knew for sure we'd be all right when we scrimmaged Mercersburg Academy and only lost 4-1. Then, when we got off to a 6-0 start, that gave the kids confidence. Todd and I looked at scores across the district and everybody else was beating each other.
n On the team's experience: "The seniors had played in a District 5 final two years ago, then last year we lost at home in the first round. I think they remembered how that felt."
n On the team's style: "We didn't have as much individual skills, like ball control and one touches, as usual. So we tried to move the ball inside to the outside with some longer passes. We had speed up front and in the midfield and we let them run onto the passes. And they had some real nice finishes. The kids knew we wanted the ball to be passed toward the flag, let the wings run onto it and then cross it to the middle. My philosophy is that teams put their best players through the middle so we tried to work to the outside."
n On the defense: "Our defenders were big and solid and they covered for each other well. They contested everything. Before the PIAA game, we had 13 shutouts and had only allowed 13 goals."
n Season's highlight: "Coming home from after our district semifinal win, we knew we'd play Ridge in the final and I knew it would also be for the league championship. We didn't know whether to tell the kids or not, but we did. That was pretty special -- winning two championships in one night."
n On the reaction: "I'm still getting e-mails from the community. We had strong support from them and the school ths year." Coach of the Year
Name: Greg Best
Highlights: Won Sideling Hill League championship, won District 5 Class A championship; lost in PIAA first round
Career record: 110-51-7 (.676) in 8 years of coaching
Position: Fannett-Metal athletic director and boys basketball coach; teaches phys ed; also works on his family's beef cattle farm
Family: His wife is Jackie