I was saddened to learn of Tuesday’s (Aug. 27) passing of long-time Scottsdale Coronado baseball coach Roy Coppinger at the age of 81.
According to azcentral.com’s Richard Obert, Coppinger was the first Arizona coach to reach 400 career wins and had a career record of 476-175-4 and three big-school state championships.
Among the 100 pro/college players that Coppinger helped guide were pitcher Kendall Carter, who went on to star at Arizona State; as well as first baseman Frank Rudolph and infielder Bobby Dombrowski.
Coppinger coached baseball in the right way and it reflected in his success. He was friendly and accessible to reporters, and had a dry wit. I enjoyed covering his team’s games.
Buck Holmes, who served as an assistant coach in Coppinger’s final four seasons, took over in 1989 and has continued the strong tradition.
I certainly hope that the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association can recognize Coppinger in some form next spring, perhaps at the state tournament and/or the All-Star games.