Sad news on a summer day . . .
Phoenix Brophy Prep baseball coach Tom Succow reports that long-time Avondale Agua Fria baseball coach Wayne DesCombes passed away on Thursday night (July 17) after having cancer surgery earlier this month.
DesCombes won state championships in 1974 and 1983 and his teams finished as state runner-up in 1971 and 1992.
He coached numerous high-quality players such as pitchers Ray Murillo and Roy Samaniego and infielder Shawn Gilbert. The latter went on to play in the major leagues.
“The most instrumental guy in guiding my career was Wayne DesCombes,’’ Murillo told the West Valley View in 2011. “He put you in leagues, pushed you to be the best you could be.’’
I remember DesCombes as a friendly, easygoing guy who also had a tough side. His teams would battle you down to the final out.
“Wayne was a great coach but an even better person,’’ Succow said. “Arizona high school athletics lost a man who was a model for those of us who are still coaching. Wayne was a friend and mentor to many.’’
A viewing for DesCombes will be held at Agua Fria's O.K. Fulton Gymnasium in Avondale (530 E. Riley Dr.) at 10 a.m. on Monday (July 21), with services beginning at 11 a.m.