DOUGLAS — For years Luis Canez sat back and patiently waited for Bosco Selchow to retire as Douglas High School’s golf coach. When Selchow finally did retire after 31-years, Canez did not hesitate to apply for the head coaching position.
On Feb. 2 the Douglas school board made it official, Canez will be Douglas’ new golf coach.
Canez is a 1989 DHS graduate who played college baseball at Cochise College and golf at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, New Mexico. He has been an educator for 22 years at Douglas High School as well as at several charter schools in both Douglas and Tucson. He was also the head girls golf coach at Pueblo one year. He was the freshman coach to Jaime Tadeo in 2001 when Douglas High School won the state championship in baseball.
While a student at Douglas High School, Canez gave up football after two years switching to golf his junior and senior years where he played for Jim Haliday who preceded Selchow as the golf coach at DHS.
“Playing golf for Douglas High School was a great experience,” he said. “My friends thought I was crazy for giving up football for golf saying it was for sissies and now they play more golf than I do.”
Canez said he became familiar with the game through his uncles Ernesto and Memo Galindo.
“Being a musician I was always breaking my fingers playing football so I figured I better play something else,” he said. “It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the game.”
Canez said after playing baseball at Cochise he was offered a scholarship to continue playing baseball at WNMU. Shortly after arriving on campus he learned the university had eliminated its baseball program so he went to the golf coach who two years before had offered him a scholarship but he refused it because he was committed to playing baseball at Cochise. The coach did not have a scholarship available but offered him a chance to try out for the team and possibly “win” a scholarship. Canez tried out for the team and secured a spot as the No. 3 golfer on WNMU.
“Playing collegiate golf was an awesome experience,” he said. “We got to play in Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona. We got to play against the U of A when they had Rory Sabitini as their No. 1 player and they were No.1 in the nation. Jim Furik had just graduated the year before. I got to play with a number of golfers who played professional golf afterwards. Some of these guys were amazing. They could have played left handed and still beaten us. They were that great.”
Canez said he always hoped one day to have a shot at being Douglas’ head golf coach. Over the years, several athletic directors at DHS encouraged him to be patient, saying his day would come.
“Selchow retired from teaching and continued to coach another six or seven years,” Canez said. “He was an incredible golf coach and is a good friend of mine.”
Canez finds it kind of ironic that in 1997 he replaced Selchow as the freshman baseball coach at DHS and now, in 2021, he’s replacing him as the head golf coach.
“I love the game of golf,” he said. “I consider it a dream job.”
Canez jokes the Douglas Golf Course is his “second home”. He’s been a member for over 30 years. Every Thursday he and several of his friends will play a round of golf at the DGC. He has also been the top winner the past six years at the Labor Day Classic Golf Tournament. This past September he and his partner came back from sixth place on the final day to win the A Flight.
“Golf is such an amazing sport,” he said. “It teaches you so many things like being honest, being respectful. It changes your personality. I’m anxious to show the kids what I know and how I was taught as a player.”
Canez says he has a good start to his new team with Colton Boone and Aiden Rodriguez both coming back for their junior seasons.
“I need to start recruiting some players,” he said. “We’re planning on starting some clinics here every other weekend. The only advantage I have on Bosco is that I’m at the high school where I teach math. I have all the juniors and seniors. I get to talk to them about the game. That’s the only advantage I have on coach. He was an amazing coach. I just want to continue what he did.”
Canez admits the Douglas Golf Course is not in that great of condition right now and needs some serious work.
“I want to get out here this summer and help repair these front nine holes,” he said. “I want to see decent fairways because right now we don’t have any. The back nine is even worse, it’s all dirt. Hopefully we’ll get some rain too. I plan on being more involved out here this summer. I want the golf course to be playable for the kids, at least the front nine. I’m excited for the opportunity. I just wish the golf course was in as good condition as it was 10-12 years ago. It was amazingly beautiful, even the back nine. I’m very excited. I can’t wait to start doing what we used to do. I’m hoping we can get some kids out here and bring Douglas High School golf back to what it once was. I just hope the kids that do come out are willing and able. It takes two,the coach and the player.”