By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Former CHS coach was a trailblazer
Nunnes led Bulldogs to new heights
Shawna Nunes, flanked by daughters Elizabeth and Callie, was rewarded for excellence in coaching. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Six former Bulldog coaches were inducted into the Ceres High School Hall of Fame on Feb. 17 at the River Oaks Golf Course Event Center.

Shawna Nunes was among the recipients.

Shawna had a successful 18-year stint as head coach of the varsity girls basketball program.

Under Nunes' guidance, the Bulldogs compiled a 364-143 record, captured one section championship, claimed six league titles, secured 15 playoff berths, won at least 20 games 10 times and surpassed the 30-win mark twice.

She retired in 2011.

"You don't think about it at the time but I was one of the few female coaches," said Nunes, Ceres High's current athletic director. "I was in a male world. I always knew I had to prove myself more than a guy. Over time, I did get respect. One of the highlights of my coaching career was winning the CIF Model Coach of the Year Award."

Shannon Donnelly (class of 1999), Reshundra Smiley (2001) and Heather Mazza (2005) developed into standout players under Nunes' guidance.

Donnelly and Smiley were both starters on Ceres High's 1998-99 team, which compiled a program-best 30-3 overall record, finished second in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I playoff tournament and claimed the Central California Conference title (18-0).

Shannon was a senior post player.

Reshundra was a sophomore point guard.

"I didn't think I was good enough to play at the varsity level when I was a sophomore," Donnelly said. "She saw something in me I didn't see. She believed in me. I definitely wouldn't have become the player I became without her. She was definitely a role model."

"She knew how to win," Smiley said. "She was very competitive. She did not like to lose. She was also a mother-figure to us. She taught us how to be ladies."

Heather was a senior point guard on Ceres High's 2004-05 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II championship team. The Bulldogs amassed a 25-7 overall record. "It was easy to follow Nunes' lead," Mazza said. "She cared about us as a person, not just an athlete. She was so focused on winning. She's coached so many people that have done well."

"It's so satisfying to know I had an impact on so many of these young ladies," Nunes said. "I had a small part in their success. That makes me feel good."

Nunes graduated from Ceres High in 1981. She was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame as an athlete in 2009. The nine varsity sport letter winner competed in volleyball, basketball and track. She was voted outstanding athlete during her senior year.

Other coaches rewarded for their outstanding leadership with hall-of-fame induction this past month included Frank Cheek (1964-1969, wrestling, football, tennis and baseball), Ben Brenning (1968-2002, football, basketball and baseball), Glenn Nowicki (1980-1997, wrestling, tennis, football and volleyball), Glenn Driskell (1985-2017, basketball, cross country, track, tennis and softball) and Bryan Harden (1992-2016, boys tennis and girls tennis).