Arizona's wealthier schools attract more athletic talent due to open enrollment

Monday, November 4, 2013

Brian Stephenson was the varsity baseball coach at Westwood High School in Mesa from 2007 to 2012. Not once in his six seasons as coach did Westwood finish with a winning record.

In June 2012, Stephenson was hired as the coach at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale. In his first season, he led Desert Mountain to a 31-4 record and the Division I state championship for the largest high schools.

Stephenson didn’t change who he was or how he coached. He didn’t become smarter overnight. He simply reaped the benefits of moving from a poorer Division I school to an affluent school.

“At Westwood, the kids come in as freshmen and they haven’t been able to afford to play club baseball,” Mesa Public Schools Athletic Director Steve Hogen said. “He’s teaching them basic fundamentals, like how to throw and how to play the game.

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