When people think of the Mount Rushmore of Arizona Basketball, Coach Art Dye is one of the influential figures in Arizona Basketball History. Dye has been coaching for a total of 50 years in club, high school basketball, baseball, hockey and football. I had the pleasure to meet Coach Dye during my coaching career, as he was an assistant at Seton Catholic, while I assisted at Casa Grande Union.
I loved the conversations we had, as Coach Dye had a wealth of wisdom and a burning passion for the game of basketball and the student-athletes we coached. We found a common ground which would build into an instant friendship for years to come. I did not know how much of an impactful figure he was in Arizona basketball, until doing research through my circle of friends.
Coach Dye is a humble soul. I ended up finding out that for (25) years, he led the Arizona Stars AAU-club Basketball Program. In its peak, the Arizona Stars were the top AAU club basketball program, which had all the top players in the state, and, more importantly, a long alumni list of college players. Besides leading the Arizona Stars, Coach Dye’s accomplishments include back-to-back Boys Basketball National Championships with the Boys and Girls Club of Scottsdale in 1989 and 1990.
Currently, Coach Dye is leading the Benjamin Franklin Boys Basketball Program. His Chargers upset Coolidge High School, 53-51, which snapped Coolidge’s 24-game winning streak. In the big win, the Chargers got huge performances from seniors Malakhi Sanchez and Armando Jimenez. Jimenez and Sanchez would each drop 17 points in the huge upset victory.
Coach Dye credits his team for playing with heart and desire.
“My kids were able to compete like they have nothing to lose," said Dye. "I credit Coolidge and Coach Glasgow, as they are one of the top teams in the state. I am very grateful for my kids and my staff (Coach Magnus and Coach Mott). My staff and kids make coaching here enjoyable.”
Coach Dye credits his success at Ben Franklin to the players in his program and assistants Jonny Magnus and Jon Mott.
I asked Coach Dye on his secrets to maintain a prolonged coaching career and he said, “The passion for helping kids and the game of basketball has kept me going. I am very grateful for my family and my health.”
The Chargers are on track to make school history, by hosting its first playoff game. I am rooting for the Chargers in playoffs, as I am very grateful to have a friend in Coach Art Dye.