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Home » Cougar Foundation Hall of Fame » 2009 Cougar Foundation Hall of Fame Inductees » 1970 Men’s Basketball Team and Coaches

1970 Men’s Basketball Team and Coaches

1970 Men's Basketball Team and CoachesSahuaro High opened its doors in the fall of 1968 without a senior class. The following year in November, Dick McConnell assembled his second basketball team to begin practice in what is now the McConnell Gymnasium. That practice was the beginning of a run at Sahuaro’s First State Championship.

That first Championship set the standard not only for Sahuaro athletics; but it established a sense of pride that permeated the entire school. A new school carries with it a sense of something special. That championship was a confirmation of that sense of pride. Dick McConnell has gone on for many years bringing championships and many other recognitions to Sahuaro High School. Basketball games at Sahuaro in those early days packed the gym with Cougar Fans, to the extent that one Rincon vs. Sahuaro game had to be played at the Community Center. Just like Arizona Basketball has built a strong sense of community in Tucson, that first State Championship did that for Sahuaro High School.

For forty years, Sahuaro has been recognized for its outstanding programs, not only in sports, but in all activities and in academics. Dick McConnell was one of many handpicked staff members selected by Principal Hank Egbert whom he challenged to make Sahuaro a special school. They did not fail him. Dick’s accomplishment with the basketball team was the most obvious measure of those many successes; other sports and activities soon followed basketball’s example. Unfortunately academic successes are not as easily documented.

Testament for academic excellence is manifested in the accomplishment of Sahuaro’ s graduates.


  • James Blake
  • Curt Cannon
  • Dan Ferguson
  • Jim Ferguson
  • Mike Gustafson
  • Dave Henry
  • Neil Henry
  • Don Holt
  • Pete Manns
  • Robert Montoya
  • Paul Newton
  • George Whitaker
  • Sam Young