Michael Dominguez

Michael Dominguez, 23, was hired as associate head basketball coach at OUAZ in Surprise.

At 23, Michael Dominguez will not be a lot older than most of the girls he is mentoring in his new job as associate head coach – joining coach Stephen Moss – of Ottawa University Arizona’s women’s basketball team.

“It’s really cool when I retire years from now I can tell my kids and my grandkids I was a coach at this young (age). But it’s not something I’m satisfied with. I have big aspirations,” Dominguez said. 

While he will put his entire coaching focus on this role, Dominguez said his ultimate goal is to become an NCAA Division 1 coach. Transitioning to OUAZ from his former job as an assistant for the South Mountain Community College women’s team, he feels like this is a step closer.

“I felt like I needed to get on a four-year staff and take on a bigger role,” he said. “I had the opportunity to move up after just a year of (junior college), so I couldn’t pass it up.”

Dominguez said a lot of his peers in the coaching community have supported him on his career path. One of them was former boss Jordan Augustine.

Augustine, coach of the Ironwood High 2020 5A state champion boys’ basketball team, could sense Dominguez’s desire when he hired him as a varsity assistant for the 2018-19 season. Augustine remembers an even-younger Dominguez living in Tucson at the time, sending him an email asking about an open coaching job, and eventually securing it.

“It impressed me a college student living in Tucson at the time drove all the way here to meet me face-to-face to talk about the job,” Augustine said.

“You could see how much effort he put into coaching, and his willingness to do all the little things that need to be done to be successful.”

With the hiring process behind him now, the new Spirit coach aims to help develop the team into a contender in the NAIA.

OUAZ finished its 2019-20 season on Feb. 29 with a 12-14 record. Dominguez said there are several talented players returning to the squad in the next season.

“We’re back on the court next week with the returners,” he said. “I am excited to get started.”