An accomplished athlete at both the high school and collegiate level, Karen Weitz never set out to be coach, much less one of the most successful girls’ high school basketball coaches in the country. However, Weitz’s college career led her on this journey.
She played collegiate basketball at both Boise State and then Scottsdale Community College. She then earned a scholarship in track and field at UNLV. In 1988, Weitz won the National Title in javelin and was named 1st Team All-American. Weitz graduated from UNLV in 1992 and began her teaching and coaching career.
While at Swainston Middle School in Las Vegas, she led the first-year girls’ middle school program to the city championship during the 1994-95 season. She then spent three years leading the program at Cheyenne. In 1999, Weitz went to the newly opened Centennial High School to teach physical education and run the girls’ basketball program.
The first Centennial team won the division title, city championship and posted a 30-1 record before losing in the state playoffs. In 2002, Weitz’s team won the Nevada large-school state basketball championship and completed a perfect 34-0 season. That year, it was the first time in 21 years that a school from southern Nevada won a large-school state girls’ basketball title.
Weitz is known as a skillful coach and teacher who exemplifies competitiveness, while instilling the development of life skills. She has built her programs on discipline, setting high standards and accountability.
That philosophy led to success. In fact, no coach has won more games in Nevada high school basketball history than Weitz.
With more than 700 wins and counting as the girls’ coach at Cheyenne and Centennial, she has built a dynasty with 14 state championships, including eight straight titles. She has been named the Nevada State Coach of the year five times, the USA Today Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2018 and the Max Preps Coach of the Year in 2016.
Her teams also have been nationally ranked 12 times.
In May of 2022, she took on the responsibility of coaching the Centennial boys’ teams, in addition to staying on to oversee the girls team. In 2023, she served as the McDonald’s All American Head Coach.
Born: June 05, 1968
Claim to Fame: Weitz has won 14 state championships and recorded more than 700 wins.