When Pinewood defeated Scotts Valley, 43-41, in the third-place game of the girls' Central Coast Section Open Division basketball playoffs on March 6, the historical value of the game was overlooked.
As it turned out, the victory was the 500th of Doc Scheppler's 19-year career at Pinewood and it came on his home floor. As much as that was a milestone, it was just the start to the postseason for the Panthers along with being just a footnote to a remarkable season for Scheppler and his team.
Pinewood went on to win four more games, capturing first the NorCal crown and then a state championship with a 60-42 win over La Jolla Country Day to finish 30-3.
While that final triumph seemed to be a fitting end to the season, it wasn't. This week, Scheppler was named the 2014 Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year. Since he also won the honor at Division V, Scheppler becomes the first to win the overall title while coaching at the D-5 level.
"I guess it was my turn!" Scheppler said of the honor.
The 60-year-old Scheppler, who also was state coach of the year for Division V in 2010, finished this season with a career won-loss record of 504-111. He ranks among the winningest coaches in state history and trails only
Pam Wimberly of Menlo-Atherton for most career wins in CCS history. Wimberly finished with 646.
Scheppler's sixth state title this season tied him for No. 3 all-time (at all levels) in girls' state history for most crowns. He is the fourth CCS coach to earn the state's highest coaching honor. Mike Ciardella of Sacred Heart Prep (1994), Sue Phillips of Mitty(1999) and Brian Harrigan of Sacred Heart Cathedral (2006) are the others.