John Tissaw

Inducted Class of 1999

As junior varsity and assistant basketball coach at Amphitheater High School, Tissaw won several city championships. As varsity coach at Canyon del Oro High School for 13 years, he had the unique opportunity to start a basketball program from the ground up. He did not depend on players who just showed up for practice but rather built a program that would be competitive every year by feeding players into the varsity level that had been in the program for many years at lower levels. This program began paying dividends and reached the top when he won back-to-back state championships in 1977 and 1978 with players who were guided and developed each year from the fourth grade in the basketball clinics.

After the program began paying off, Tissaw’s varsity teams were consistently taller at all positions and, in most cases, more highly skilled at every position than other teams throughout the state. He won many individual coaching awards, including Division Coach of the Year (1971, 1973, 1975, 1977), Arizona Coaches Association All-Star Coach (1975 and 1978) and Arizona Republic Arizona Basketball Coach of the Year. After fulfilling his dream of building a basketball program that was second to none in the state, Tissaw retired after 27 years of continuous coaching in the state of Arizona and 23 years in Pima County.