Joe Esquivel Coach of the Year award

Published on April 04, 2023

Four recipients of Coach of the Year with Council Member Todd Rogers

At the 2023 Lakewood Youth Hall of Fame event, the first ever Joe Esquivel Coach of the Year award was presented to not one, but four deserving honorees:

  • Mayfair High School Wrestling Coach Ibee Atalla led the Monsoons to league and CIF championships, their tenth consecutive league title and fourth CIF championship in the past seven years. Ibee cares deeply about the growth and development of every single one of his wrestlers, and gives every bit of himself back to his teams.
  • Lakewood High School Football Coach Justin Utupo guided the Lancers through a rocky season start of 1-4 to finish the season 8-4, leading them all the way to the CIF finals, where they hosted their first CIF football final in school history.
  • Saint Joseph High School Soccer Coach Isaac Ayala guided the Jesters soccer team to the CIF state division four championship, and he was named the division four coach of the year. Isaac is also invested in his players’ academic performance, reflected in the fact that the Jesters on his team had an unbelievable team GPA of 3.78.
  • Under the tutelage of Artesia High Boys Basketball Coach Jeff Myles, the Pioneers had their most wins, 26, and secured their first league title since 2007, advancing to the first round of the state tournament. 

The Joe Esquivel Coach of the Year award was created to recognize those coaches whose passion and dedication sets them apart, and whose tireless effort helps to guide and shape the futures of young athletes in our community.

Congratulations to the inaugural class of the Joe Esquivel Coach of the Year.