Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Skyview’s success is sweet for Dan McGee’s family

Hawks capture 4A girls’ hoops title

Express Staff Writer

Vice principal Dan McGee takes time out on his rounds at Hai-ley’s Wood River High School. Courtesy photo

     First-year Wood River High School vice principal Dan McGee usually walks around the halls of the Hailey school with a good-natured smile. That smile has been a little broader this week and he’s got more spring in his step.

     That’s because his family is celebrating a first-time State 4A girls’ basketball tournament championship won by Skyview High School of Nampa Saturday night at Nampa’s Ford Idaho Center with a 69-55 victory over Twin Falls.

     Skyview (25-1) won its final 25 games—losing only its opening game 64-50 Nov. 15 to the team which emerged as the State 5A runner-up, Rocky Mountain of Meridian (24-2). Skyview averaged 58.4 ppg and yielded 39.2 ppg. The closest any team came to the Hawks in the winning streak was seven points.

     McGee’s wife, Cindy Pasta, has been the first and only girls’ basketball coach at Skyview since the school opened in 1996. His step-daughter Bailey Pasta was the star senior point guard for Skyview. Floor general Bailey Pasta averaged 17.3 in three state tourney games and led the Hawks in assists.

     Bailey Pasta, a four-year varsity starter, has been in the gym with her mother since she was two—a “classic coach’s kid,” said McGee. She was water girl on the bench and has memories of watching the NCAA Women’s Final Four in person with her mother. Now, Bailey has a scholarship to play basketball at Carroll College in Montana.

     “It’s been a 17-year dream for my wife and daughter to play for a state championship,” said McGee.

     McGee knows what it feels like to be there. He was the first boys’ basketball coach at Skyview where he presided for 11 seasons from 1996-2007—winning back-to-back State 4A championships in 2005 and 2006 and finishing second to Burley in 2007. He became Skyview’s athletic director in 2008.

     The couple married in 2001 and has a blended family. McGee’s daughter Morgan McGee is also a senior at Skyview, on the dance team. Their daughter Abby, 9, was born during McGee’s first state championship run for Skyview.

     Driving time and travel has been challenging for McGee since he took the Wood River vice principal job last year and Cindy stayed in Nampa. Many times he has driven two-and-a-half hours to the Treasure Valley and back the same night.

     On weekends he’s back in Nampa, attending one of Abby’s soccer or basketball games.

     He said he attended all but six of the team’s 26 games this season, watching the ones he couldn’t attend on

     “It was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see my daughter play and my wife coach in an awesome season,” he said. “Fortunately the weather has been good for driving.”

     McGee said, “I am really proud of my daughter and wife (and their team’s) success. It has been quite a ride.”

     Cindy Pasta grew up in Idaho Falls, attended Bonneville High School where she won a state track and field championship in the sprints, and graduated from Boise State University. She was head girls’ basketball coach at Skyline High School in Idaho Falls before taking the Skyview job.

     She teaches health, wellness and team sports at Skyview.

     A native of Redondo Beach, Ca., McGee attended West High School in Torrance, Ca. where he played basketball for his father Dan McGee. “I sort of got into the family business,” said McGee about the direction he took.

     He received his Associate Arts Degree from West Valley College in Saratoga, Ca. in 1985, his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science from San Jose State University in 1987 and his Masters in Education from UCLA in 1988.

     McGee started his teaching and coaching career for eight years at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado, Ca. between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, where he taught and coached varsity basketball, cross-country, softball and track.

     In 1996, he came to the new Skyview High School to teach social studies and as the school’s first head boys’ basketball coach. During his 11 years as the Hawks’ coach they won seven combined conference and district championships. McGee was voted the Third District Coach of the Year five times and the Idaho State Coach of the Year twice.

     For his work as Skyview athletic director, McGee received the Idaho Athletic Administrators Association (IAAA) honor as top 4A athletic director in 2011.

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