The National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) has named veteran Waterloo West girls basketball coach Dr. Anthony Pappas as one of eight finalists for the organization's national coach of the year.

The eight finalists from across the nation will be honored during the National Coach of the Year Awards Banquet, which will be held during the NHSACA's convention in East Peoria, Ill., on June 21, 2017. The highlight of the banquet will be the naming of the NHSACA national coach of the year in 19 recognized sports categories.

Pappas was selected for the national honor by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU), which awarded him the organization's prestigious Golden Plaque of Distinction at the 2016 state tournament in Des Moines. The NHSACA selection was based on longevity, service to high school athletics, honors, championship years and winning percentage. The nominees and finalists are evaluated by experts in the field of coaching using sport-specific rubrics to assign points in each category.

Pappas was named girls basketball national coach of the year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association in 2016. Also last year, the Wahawks’ long-time leader was one of two people in the United States named as a recipient of the Morgan Wootten Award for Lifetime Achievement in coaching prep basketball.

The National High School Athletic Coaches Association is the oldest coaches association in the nation formed by coaches, for coaches, and has been recognizing national coaches of the year since 1978.

Pappas has served as a head coach in the state of Iowa for 40 years, the last 36 being at Waterloo West after previous stops at Mallard and North Fayette. He currently has an overall coaching record of 540-346, including a 7-5 mark this year. Pappas has guided his teams to seven state tournament appearances, six semifinals and two runner-up finishes.