Girls Basketball Coach of the Year: Amber Milnes, Aberdeen
Girls Basketball Coach of the Year: Amber Milnes, Aberdeen (Matt Button / Baltimore Sun Media Group)
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In her first season with the Eagles, Milnes faced a couple of daunting tasks -- rebuilding after graduating three starters from last year's state championship team and then rebuilding again after 2011-12 All-Metro Player of the Year Brionna Jones tore an anterior cruciate ligament in January, which forced her to miss the rest of the season.
With two freshman and two sophomore starters, she converted a team that had been centered on the 6-foot-3 Jones into an up-tempo team in which everyone had to contribute. The No. 2 Eagles responded with a 25-3 season and a second straight Class 3A state championship.
"We always talked about how winning the championship was bigger than any one person or any one part of the team," Milnes said. "The most important thing to do was make sure no matter what five players we were putting on the court, that it was a collaboration of talent and that everyone knew their role and played their role."
Milnes, who also gave credit to assistant coach Hikam Hibbert for smoothing the head coaching transition, officiated basketball in Pennsylvania for 15 years before moving to Harford County and taking her first high school coaching job at Edgewood, where she was 48-46 in four years.