Waterloo West coach Dr. Anthony Pappas is being honored at the 2016 Iowa High School Girls State Basketball Tournament this week.

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) has selected the Wahawks' longtime leader to receive the organization's Golden Plaque of Distinction Award.

The IGHSAU's Golden Plaque of Distinction Award honors an Iowa coach who has demonstrated a successful career while making notable contributions toward school, community and the coaching profession. Pappas will be honored at halftime of the Class-2A State Championship game on Friday (March 4, 2016).

Dr. Pappas has been coaching girls basketball at Waterloo West High School for 36 years. A winner of more than 500 career games, he has guided the Wahawks to the state tournament seven times. Under his leadership, West reached the state championship game in 1999 and 2002.

Source: Waterloo School District
Source: Waterloo School District

Pappas has won numerous coaching awards during his career, and this year has been especially rewarding for him. In January, Pappas was named the 2016 girls' basketball National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS). Last month, he was also selected as the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Morgan Wooten Award, given annually to the outstanding girls' and boys' high school basketball coaches in the country.

A native of Mason City, Pappas is a member of the Iowa Girls Coaches Association’s (IGCA) Basketball Hall of Fame. He has directed basketball camps throughout the country, has served as a regional scout for the WNBA, and coached in the 2011 McDonald’s All-American game.

Dr. Pappas has coached several outstanding student-athletes during his tenure at West, including Nina Smith and Kristi Kincaid. Smith was named National High School Player of the Year in 1999 and Kincaid was the National Junior College Player of the Year in 1989. Both girls are members of the IGHSAU Basketball Hall of Fame.

In addition to coaching basketball, Pappas has also served as Waterloo West’s athletic director since 2010.

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