Mesa Skyline and Mesa High have filled their vacant varsity baseball coaching positions with the selections of Mike Johnson and Joe Bergen, respectively.
Johnson leaves Chandler High after 14 seasons as head coach. Chandler reached the playoffs 11 of Johnson’s 14 seasons and qualified for state eight times. Johnson previously coached at Queen Creek and Duncan before arriving at Chandler. He piloted Queen Creek to one state title and one runner-up finish. Johnson replaces Bill Roberts, who took a coaching and teaching position at Mesa Mountain View. Skyline was 2-27 last season.
Bergen has spent much of this decade (2000-03 and 2006) as an assistant and recruiting coordinator for Chandler-Gilbert Community College. In 2004 and 2005, he was the varsity coach at Higley, guiding the Knights to a runner-up finish in 3A in 2004. Bergen’s record in two seasons at Higley was 42-18-1.
Bergen replaces Steve Gourde, whose coaching contract was not renewed last month. Mesa was 11-17-1 this past season.
“Joe has a well-balanced knowledge of the game with a lot of experience at several levels,’’ Mesa principal Pete Lesar said.
Westwood gets new girls basketball, softball coaches: Mesa Westwood has hired Jamie Mendez to be its varsity softball coach and Willie Gray to guide the girls basketball program for 2006-07.
Mendez served as Westwood’s junior varsity coach last season. She is a Westwood graduate and will teach at Powell Junior High.
Gray comes to Westwood from Virginia and has helped with the basketball programs at Fountain Hills and Paradise Valley.
Classic lineup nearly complete: The annual Martin Luther King Basketball Classic will feature five prep games next January at Wells Fargo Arena with three boys games and two girls contests.
New to the menu in 2007 is a boys matchup between 2A powers Scottsdale Christian and Chandler Valley Christian. Two matchups featured last year are back with Phoenix Desert Vista vs. Mesa Mountain View (boys) and Phoenix Brophy vs. Phoenix St. Mary’s. The lone girls matchup confirmed thus far pits Mesa Red Mountain against Mountain View. Another girls game will be determined and added later. The games will be played Jan. 15.
AIA official, former coach to be honored: Craig Anderson, a tournament coordinator for the Arizona Interscholastic Association and a former wrestling coach, will be inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame on June 28 at the organization’s national convention in Branson, Mo.
Anderson coached wrestling for 22 years at Paradise Valley and Phoenix Shadow Mountain. He coached four region title teams and one state runner-up at Paradise Valley. Anderson retired from the AIA earlier this week, but will continue to coordinate the state wrestling tournament.