Art Phinney

Art Phinney coached Western Washington to a national title.

Former Skagit Valley College softball coach Art Phinney, a Burlington-Edison graduate who guided the Cardinals to some of their best seasons, died Monday.

Western Washington University, whose softball team Phinney led to a national championship, announced his death in a news release. It gave the cause of death as a heart attack.

Phinney graduated from Burlington-Edison in 1978 and from Skagit Valley College in 1985.

He was the head coach at Skagit Valley College from 1985-1988. His teams went 74-40 and were runners-up three times in the Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament.

He went on to coach Western Washington University for seven seasons.

The Vikings won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics title in 1998 — a season in which they had claimed the final at-large berth for the playoffs.

It was the first national title in Western Washington University history.

Phinney later served as sports ministry director at Living Hope Church in Vancouver, Washington.

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