Deer Valley has named its new football coach Thursday — and it’s a big name.
Joe Kersting, long the pillar of the powerhouse Glendale Community College program, has accepted the job.
“I’m hoping to bring a situation where there’s consistency and the team can reach its potential,” Kersting said. “We’re going to put together a really good staff of coaches that can teach these kids a lot about football.”
Kersting has spent 16 of 21 years in separate tenures as the Gauchos head coach. He stepped down from the head coaching spot in 2006 and returned in 2009 to serve as running back and tight end coach for his successor — GCC coach Mickey Bell.
Kersting said he regained the desire to lead a program during the course of the season. But the demands of coaching a junior college team again would be too much on him and his family, making high school more appealing.
“Your priorities start changing in life as you get older,” Kersting said. “College coaching is very time consuming and can be very difficult for your family. I think junior college is the toughest because you’re constantly recruiting and trying to get your players scholarships to major schools.”
Kersting said he looked at several high schools. Deer Valley appealed to him because of his familiarity with athletic director John Allen, who coached against Kersting at Phoenix College.
“My gut feeling was, if this isn’t a home run, I don’t want to do it,” Kersting said. “After meeting with John and (principal) Barbara Dobbs and seeing what their plans are for football, I felt comfortable.”
The Gauchos claimed National Junior College Athletic Association championships under Kersting’s watch in 1988 and 2005. GCC’s third state title, in 2000, came after Kersting returned to the program as offensive coordinator. When that team’s coach left in 2001, Kersting returned to the head coaching spot.
As the head coach of the Gauchos, Kersting has compiled the most wins in Arizona junior college football history with an overall record of 115-43-2. Throughout his career at GCC, Kersting’s teams have won 14 conference championships and have played in 14 bowl games, winning 11 of them. He was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2006.
He was an assistant football coach at Northern Arizona University from 1984-1985. In 1987, Kersting became the head football coach at Glendale. In 1997 he returned for a one year stint as the defensive backs coach at NAU.
"(Joe) has been one of the top college coaches in Arizona for a long time and we are very fortunate to have him here at Deer Valley,” Allen said.