Alex Zachwieja

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                Alex Zachwieja
Current Team Coached Retired
Past Teams Coached Honaker (1995-2014)
College Concord (WV)
High School Bluefield (WV)

Alex Zachwieja (often known simply as "Coach Z") was the longtime coach of Honaker and is widely regarded as the forerunner of modern ACF-format quizbowl's expansion into the westernmost high schools of Virginia.

At Honaker, Zachwieja guided the program through numerous major changes: Prior to 1998, Honaker played only a regional variety of quizbowl. He was one of the earliest adopters of the VHSL Scholastic Bowl format in Southwest Virginia, with Honaker attending its first Scholastic Bowl State Tournament in 1999. He saw the team through the Mary Ann Suter and Shawn Pickrell eras as the VHSL began its introduction of more pyramidal HSAPQ questions.

In the 2007-2008 school year, he took Honaker to its first NAQT tournament, making them the first recorded Virginia team west of Montgomery County to participate in an NAQT event. This led to the program gaining close relationships with Cave Spring and Blacksburg, and Honaker's subsequent improvement in Scholastic Bowl play led to more far-SWVA teams beginning to play in NAQT and ACF format tournaments.

Prior to 2008, Honaker experienced success in Scholastic Bowl at the regional level, but only won a single game in their six appearances at the state level. After the addition of more traditional quizbowl to their schedule, the team qualified for the next seven consecutive VHSL State Tournaments, posting a 15-12 record at the state level over that timeframe, including six Top-5 finishes, three State Runner-Up titles, and the 2014 VHSL 1A State Championship.

At the time of Zachwieja's retirement, the program had won 38 consecutive VHSL games, posting an undefeated 2014 season; 86 consecutive Black Diamond District Regular Season games and 107 consecutive BDD games including the BDD tournament; 5 straight VHSL Regional Championships; and their only 4 losses in 2012 and 2013 came via George Mason High School.

Other accomplishments of of Zachwieja include a 395-86 career coaching record in Scholastic Bowl, never posting a VHSL season with a winning percentage below 50% (and only one season below 70%), serving as a member of the VHSL Scholastic Bowl Advisory Committee from 2009 to 2011, and after retirement he became an elected member of the Russell County School Board.

Zachwieja was also the longtime Assistant Coach of the Honaker baseball team, spending the majority of his career working with VHSL Hall of Fame Coach Tom Harding, and earning a state championship ring with the team in 2011.