Note: This is part of a series of posts you'll see over the next week or so on ArizonaSports.com. We had a panel of 16 voters, including all of our on-air personalities, cast votes in several categories like Athlete of the Year, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Best Moment of the Year and many others.
Two of the four Major League sports franchises in Phoenix got new coaches in 2013.
In January, the Arizona Cardinals hired 60-year-old Bruce Arians, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year, to guide their ship.
In May, the Phoenix Suns tabbed one of their former players, Jeff Hornacek, to take over the reins of the franchise.
Arians and Hornacek joined a talented group of head coaches and managers already employed in Arizona.
Our panel voted, and two tied for our 2013 Coach of the Year Award.
Arians inherited a 5-11 team, and along with new general manager Steve Keim, re-tooled a roster that helped the Cardinals earn just their second 10-win season since moving to the desert in 1988. He's very much in the running for the NFL Coach of the Year Award for a second straight season. Nobody since Washington's Joe Gibbs in 1982 and 1983 has won the hardware in back-to-back seasons. And no coach ever has won the award in consecutive years for two different franchises.
In just his second year in Tempe, Todd Graham guided the Sun Devils to a 10-3 record and their first-ever Pac-12 South crown. Once again, ASU was one of the most disciplined teams in the country -- accruing an average of 29.5 penalty yards per game -- the fourth-best mark in the country.
Graham became the fourth coach in ASU history to win a conference Coach of the Year Award, joining John Cooper (1986), Bruce Snyder (1996) and Dennis Erickson (2007).
Here's how our panel voted:
Tyler Bassett: Todd Graham, ASU Football
Dan Bickley: Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals
Jon Bloom: Todd Graham, ASU Football
Dave Burns: Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals
Paul Calvisi: Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals
Jarrett Carlen: Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals
Dave Dulberg: Todd Graham, ASU Football
Doug Franz: Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals
John Gambadoro: (Tie) Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix Suns/Todd Graham, ASU Football
Bryan Gibberman: Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix Suns
Adam Green: Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals
Craig Grialou: Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals
Vince Marotta: Todd Graham, ASU Football
Carter Nacke: Todd Graham, ASU Football
Jules Tompkins: Todd Graham, ASU Football
Ron Wolfley: Todd Graham, ASU Football