Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Winslow's Art Griffith is the dean of baseball coaches

May 3, 2019 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

Winslow High School's Art Griffith is the dean of all baseball coaches in the state of Arizona.

Griffith is an icon and a sports fanatic in the town of Winslow. Griffith has been there and done that for the game of baseball in Winslow.

Griffith has passion for sports. Griffith is completing his 50th year at Winslow's head coach. Griffith began his baseball coaching career in 1969 as a volunteer assistant coach. After one year as an assistant coach, Griffith assumed the head baseball coaching position.

In addition to coaching baseball, Griffith was also a football coach for the Bulldogs.

Griffith was in the classroom as a Social Studies teacher for 49 years. Griffith ended his teaching career in May 2018.

Throughout his illustrious coaching career, Griffith has coached countless outstanding baseball players.

"Every year is special for coaches, Griffith explained. "It is hard to recognize one team over another. I do remember the members of each team. We had state Player of the Year in 1977 and 1978. We had a large number of All-State, All-Conference and All-Star Game participants. Each team is unique in their own way."

Griffith said as a youngster growing up in Winslow, he had a vision that he would be a coach and teacher.

"I have always wanted to be a coach and teacher," Griffith said. "My motivation is to take a group of young student-athletes and develop a team chemistry that will serve them well in everything they do in their future. Watching a group of indivduals become a team is a great reward for every coach."

To run an effective program, Griffith said not be afraid to delegate responsibility to the team's assistant coaches.

"Make sure your players understand that the only things they can control is their attitude and hustle," Griffith said. "Teach them respect the game. Your job as a coach is to not only teach the game, but make them better citizens in the future. Less than two per cent of high school players will go on to play in college. The numbers are even less that go on to play professionally. Remember it is a game. Make it fun for your players and they hopefully will give back to their kids in the future, a love of the game."

Griffith said he played sports from the time he can remember with his older brother. Griffith said he moved on to play Little League, Babe Ruth and in high school with the same group of guys. Griffith said they were not only baseball players, but all around athletes.

"We won state twice in Babe Ruth, football, wrestling, baseball and runners-up in basketball and track," Griffith said. "We had great coaches in late Emil Nasser and late Carl Weatherton."

In 1995, Griffith was inducted into the Arizona High School Coaches Hall of Fame. Griffith was inducted into the Navajo Nation Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame.

"Being chosen for these, for these honors, is obviously humbling and reflection of our school and community," Griffith said. "I am very proud to represent both."