When he took over as the head girls basketball coach at Bakersfield High School in 2016, Rashaan Shehee had a simple message for his players.
“You have to be able to outwork people and compete for what you want," he said. "And I think my girls have really believed that. They’ve put the time in, put the work in and they’re rewarded for that.”
On Saturday, it was Shehee who was reaping the rewards of that hard work. After overseeing another dominant run through the Southwest Yosemite League, he was named the Division II State Coach of the Year.
"I'm really just at a loss for words," said Shehee, whose team went 30-3 during the 2019-20 campaign. "During the season you never really take time to think about what you've accomplished as a program. (Having) time to reflect on this season and past seasons, I couldn't be more proud of what we've accomplished. It's awesome."
Shehee's teams, who are 97-17 in his tenure, have been particularly dominant in the SWYL, accumulating a record of 38-2.
Never was the Drillers' dominance on greater display than this past season, when they went 10-0, winning by an average of 37.2 points per game. Only two of BHS' conference wins were by less than 30 points.
The Drillers also captured their third-consecutive section championship with a 53-43 win over Arroyo Grande in the Division-I title game in February. BHS reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament before falling 70-64 in overtime to Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista.
Having already set high bar for success, Shehee plans to turn his full attention to getting his team over a major hurdle that still lies ahead.
"Obviously, the ultimate goal is to win state," he said. "We want to be recognized as the best program in the state. That’s what you continue to strive for and right now, we aren’t that program. We’re going to continue to do what we can to compete (with the best teams in the state).”