Desert Ridge High School brought a former East Valley assistant coach back from California to be its new head football coach for the coming season.
The Gilbert district officially named Vince Smith, an assistant at Tempe High in the mid-1990s, to succeed Lane Reynolds as Jaguars coach. Reynolds resigned last month to take an assistant coaching position at Hamilton High School.
Desert Ridge begins varsity competition in September in the 4A East Sky Region.
Smith, who played at the University of Arizona, graduating from there in 1993, coached at Tempe High in 1995 under then-coach Tim McBurney.
“Vince was a volunteer assistant with us and he was very knowledgable"
McBurney said. “He’s very good with kids. He's a big guy, 6-7, 340 pounds, and with that size he can be intimidating, but he didn't coach that way."
In 1996 Smith went to the Los Angeles area to Manual Arts High, handling various assistant positions through the 1999 season. In 2000 he shifted to Locke High, where he was defensive coordinator for a year before moving up to head coach for the 2001 and 2002 campaigns.
Desert Ridge opens play 4A play on Sept. 5, visiting Phoenix Cortez.