The AIA has named both Pueblo Magnet High School and Catalina High School as the recipients of the 2016-2017 Tony Komadina Award for Outstanding Girls' Athletic Program. The purpose of the award is to "recognize schools that demonstrate advocacy of, and progress in, girls' athletics." It is handed out each year to one school which competes in the 6A-4A divisions and one school which competes in the 3A-1A divisions.
The application process included submission of ways each school has advanced their girls' athletic programs - including retaining involvement, recruiting coaches, showcasing their teams and promoting equity in both boys' and girls' sports - among other things. The finalists then hosted a visit from the selection committee.
This is the first time two Tucson Unified schools have swept the award and the fourth and fifth time a school from Tucson Unified has won in general. Past district winners included Sabino High School (twice, in 1991-1992 and 1999-2000) and Sahuaro High School (1992-1993).
Tony Komadina, the award's namesake, was a former executive director of the AIA who was a passionate advocate for girls' sports and pioneered multiple advancements at the high school level in the 1970s and 1980s, such as hosting state finals at collegiate sites. The award has been given out since 1987, the last year Mr. Komadina held office. He passed away in May 2011.