Eight high school basketball coaches from around the state were given lifetime achievement awards Sunday in Lakeland, and two of them drove together from Miami to receive their honors.
Shakey Rodriguez, who won five state titles at Miami High, and Charley Funk, who is still coaching after 33 years and has a 675-212 record, earned the kudos from the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches.
Plaques with their names now hang from the Hall of Fame wall at The Lakeland Center, also known as the Court of Legends.
Funk, who coached at Northwestern, South Miami, Norland and Dash — and is currently at Curley — mentioned Rodriguez’s old school during his acceptance speech in Lakeland.
“Had it not been for Miami High, we might have won a couple of state titles,” Funk said.
One of Funk’s teams he was referring to was South Miami, which went 33-3 and made it to the state final in 1996 — only to lose 46-33 to Miami High. By then, though, Miami High was coached by Frank Martin, one of Rodriguez’s pupils.
That South Miami team, which featured Division I recruits Charlie Miller (Indiana) and Lucas Barnes (Miami), was ranked 16th in the nation by USA Today. The Cobras beat Miami High for the GMAC title that year.
Rodriguez, who also was a head coach at FIU, most recently directed the program at Krop. In 25 years of coaching, including college, he compiled a 685-161 record.
Also honored Sunday in Lakeland was the 1988-89 Miami High team — coached by Rodriguez — which finished 35-1 and was ranked No. 2 in the nation.
“That year, we beat eight teams ranked among the top 25 in the country,” Rodriguez said. “The only game we lost was to the No. 1 team, St. Anthony’s, which had three NBA first-round picks, including Bobby Hurley at point guard.”
The way Rodriguez, 59, remembers details of games from nearly a quarter-century ago, it’s clear he still has the passion to coach.
“I’m retired [from teaching], but not from basketball,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not sure what my next move will be, but I intend to keep coaching.”
Funk, 67, can relate.
“I want to keep going,” Funk said. “I enjoy the competition and the kids. They make me younger.”
• Westminster Christian d. Florida Christian 25-13, 25-14, 24-14: Vicki Verdeja 6 digs, 4 aces, 9 points. Susie Forbes 11 digs. Courtney Clausell 5 kills, 3 block. WC 12-3.
• Palmer Trinity d. Marathon 25-16, 25-11, 25-12: Danielle Littke 3 kills, 2 Aces, 40 assists. Ellie Nosich 12 kills, 4 Aces, 10 Digs. Ashley Quero 10 kills, 2 blocks. Carina Segredo 7 Aces, 6 Digs. 10-0.
• Princeton d. Westwood 18-25, 25-21, 12-25, 25-22, 15-12 : Tatiana Mullins 12 Kills. Stephanie Robelo 3 Aces, 5 Assists. PC 6-5.
• Doctors Charter d. Hialeah Educational 25-7, 25-9, 25-4: Carol Sayori 9 aces, 4 kills, 4 digs, Brianna Bruny 8 aces, 4 digs, 3 blocks, 5 kills. Alexandra Kretzschmar 9 aces, 3 digs.
• Belen Jesuit 152, Gulliver 156 (at Doral White GC par 35): G. Saade (B) 36, J. Trigueros (B) 37, R. Boone (G) 38.
• St Thomas 160, Gulliver 176, Archbishop McCarthy 203 (International Links par 35): Taylor Moody (STA) 36, Michelle Rodriguez (GUL) 38, Ariana Garcia (STA) 40, Heather Netti (STA) 41, Ruby Willie (GUL) 42, Lauren Carver (AM) 43, Madison Riordan (STA) 43. STA 7-1, GUL 1-4, AM 2-2. .
• Southwest 101, Mourning 69: for SW: Jessica Juachon won 100 back. Mashlie Sanchez 200 IM. For ATM: Betty Poler won 200 Free.
• Late Monday – Palmetto 79, Coral Reef 78, Ferguson 17: Kelly Fertel (CR) won the 200 IM and 100 breast. Carla Robles won the 50 free.
Mourning 122, Southwest 48: Gabriel Ribeiro (ATM) won 200 Free, 100 Fly. Alejandro Santos (ATM) 50 Free, and 100 Free. Carlos Mendez (SW) won 100 Breast.