Wesleyan's Azar named top coach

Wesleyan's Jan Azar, the leader of the state's most dominant girls basketball program of the past decade, received praise for her most recent championship Wednesday.

The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Azar as the Georgia high school girls coach of the year after guiding her team to its third straight state title this past Saturday. It was the Wolves' second three-peat of the decade, giving Azar seven state titles overall and an impressive 321-75 record in 13 seasons.

Wesleyan won its first title under Azar in 2002, then won three straight from 2004-06 before its current run of three in a row. Its her second state coach of the year award from the club — she also won in 2006.

"It's always nice to be recognized, but I'm definitely not in it for the awards," Azar said. "It's fun to go to those banquets though and see what a great group of coaches that are included in the (past) winners of the state coach of the year. It's nice to be a part of that group."

The Wolves won 19 of their last 20 games this season, finishing 28-4. They defeated Savannah Christian 65-49 in the state final.

"It's just a testament to all the kids who have come through and continue to come through our program, kids who buy into team basketball," Azar said. "We rarely have one or maybe two kids who make all-state. We just have kids who buy into winning a state championship more than individual awards."

Milton head coach David Boyd, the first person to guide four schools to state titles, was named the state's top boys coach. He also won titles at Campbell, Tucker and Berkmar (2000 and 2001).

The Miss Georgia Basketball honor went to Southwest DeKalb's Kayla Lewis and the Mr. Georgia Basketball award went to Westlake's Marcus Thornton.