Citizen Staff Writer
Anthony Coronado is ready for a second go-round as the Marana High School head football coach.
After being the head coach for the Tigers from 1999-2002 and spending the past three seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator, the 37-year-old Coronado on Wednesday informed his team he will be taking over the program, replacing six-year coach Willie Dudley.
“I stepped down in 2002 because I had a young family and it was the best thing to do at that time,” said Coronado, who has taught social studies at Marana High for 12 years and posted a 13-28 record in his first stint as head coach. “Now, I’m confident my family is a little older and it’s again the right situation to take this on. . . . And I think we can be pretty good.”
Marana Athletic Director Joe Hajek confirmed the hire Wednesday night.
Coronado anticipates Marana, which went 4-6 last year and 2-2 in the Class 4A Sonoran Region, will use more of an option attack on offense this fall, although not exclusively.
“Offensively, as I told the kids (Wednesday), we’re never going to be a team that’s bigger than everybody else,” Coronado said. “We have to get faster. . . . and we’ll have some tricks up our sleeves that are going to keep other team’s honest.”
On defense, Coronado plans to continue using the 3-5 scheme instituted by Dudley, who stepped down in November after a 23-39 record in six seasons, including a pair of 4A Division I state playoff appearances.
Coronado’s hiring leaves two head football coaching positions still vacant among the 25 Class 5A and 4A schools competing next fall in southern Arizona.
Since the end of the 2008 season, eight schools have made coaching changes. The two still looking for coaches – Catalina Foothills and Douglas – both learned of their vacancies only since the start of April.
At Foothills, former coach Matt Johnson left last week to take the Ironwood Ridge job, a move formalized Tuesday when the Amphitheater School District board approved his hiring.
Foothills Athletic Director Jody Brase has begun a search for Johnson’s replacement.
At Douglas, the Bulldogs hired Trevor Highfield to replace former coach John Necas, but Highfield stepped down before coaching a single game and Douglas Athletic Director Randy Walker is again conducting a search for the team’s new coach.
The six southern Arizona schools with new head coaches since the 2008 season are Canyon del Oro, Ironwood Ridge, Marana, Pueblo, Rincon/University and Sahuaro.
H.S. FOOTBALL COACHING CHANGES
Eight southern Arizona Class 4A and 5A high schools have had coaching changes since the 2008 season ended.
Canyon del Oro
Out: Pat Nugent (now head coach at Pima Community College)
In: Dusty Peace
Out: Matt Johnson (new head coach at Ironwood Ridge)
Out: John Necas (resigned)
In: Trevor Highfield
Out: Trevor Highfield (resigned)
Out: Gary Minor (resigned)
In: Matt Johnson
Out: Willie Dudley (resigned)
In: Anthony Coronado
Out: Scott McKee (now head coach at Sahuaro)
In: Michael Chadwick
Out: Pat Ryden (now defensive coordinator at Pima Community College)
In: Nate Gahn
Out: Chuck McCollom (resigned)
In: Scott McKee