Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Fri, Sept. 18

Dilcon coach Begaii runs successful program

Mike Begaii has been a basketball coach at Dilcon School since 1974 and has produced some highly successful teams in both girls' and boys' basketball and cross country. He is the father of two superb female basketball players who played at Winslow High School and a son who is a sophomore on the Winslow team now. There are still three more Begaiis who are likely to wear the maroon, white and gold of the Bulldogs.

Begaii was born in Arizona at Fort Defiance and graduated from Flagstaff High School in 1970. He ran cross country and played basketball in high school. He graduated from the University of New Mexico and came to teach at Dilcon in 1974. He has been there ever since and has coached club teams as well as teams at Dilcon School. His teams have been highly successful, winning a total of 20 state championships.

Begaii's teams have won 10 girls' state basketball title, two boys' state championships and six volleyball championships.

Most Winslow High School fans will remember his daughters Niicole who graduated from the school in 2003 and Lindsay who graduated in 2005. Both played on some very fine Lady Bulldog teams and Lindsay's teams won two state championships. Lindsay is playing at Grand Canyon University as a junior. She played her first two years at Columbia Basin College in Washington which won a championship in a multi-state area of the northwestern United States. She is studying elementary education at Grand Canyon.

Niicole was a member of a National Junior College Championship team at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in 2007. She played parts of three seasons there having had a red shirt year after an injury.

A third daughter, Mattea, is Begaii's eighth grade daughter on his team which was 12-0 at the time of the interview. There is probably a pretty good chance she will be a Winslow Lady Bulldog in the future.

Micheaux Begaii is a sophomore member of the Winslow Bulldogs. Two other sons are sixth grader Miireax and first grader Miireutio. They were playing in a tournament at Kayenta on the weekend of the interview.

The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs have benefitted from the presence of a large number of players who were coached by Begaii. This year's Lady Bulldog team contains some excellent players who played for him. They include Samantha Sam, Kourtney Shirley and Celeste Begay.

When asked about the players who had played for both him and Winslow High School, Begaii said that he feared he might omit some there were so many.

Among the Lady Bulldogs and former Lady Bulldogs who first played for Begaii were Arveda Yazzie, Amber Nelson, Collette Thomas, Terrie Wagner, LeAnn Billie, Shawn Yazzie, Micela Curtis, Chelsea Goldtooth, Ernestine Thomas, Corey Nez and Vanessa Curley.

Among the Bulldogs and former Bulldogs who first played for Begaii were Ozzy Shirley, Steve Shirley, Edward Paddock, Emerson Shirley, Micheaux Begaii, Tillman Dixon, Emerson Dixon, George Williams and Edward Clark.

Begaii noted that his father, Samuel H. Begay, was a member of a very important American fighting unit in World War II. He was one of the original 29 code talkers in the 382nd platoon.

Mike Begaii is a man who has served his community as a teacher and an excellent coach for at least 35 years. Winslow High School has benefitted greatly from the work he has done preparing his players to compete with skill and determination.

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