The final two prep football games of the year wrap up on Monday, then it’s going to be a busy offseason as well.
So far five East Valley schools — Higley, McClintock, Mesquite, Corona del Sol and Mountain View — will be looking for new coaches next year.
Higley’s Jim Beall and Mesquite’s Mike Reardon retired, while McClintock’s Mike Gibbons, Mountain View’s Tom Joseph and Corona del Sol’s Zane Zamenski have been fired.
Reardon led Mesquite to a 9-3 record last season and a berth in the 5A-I quarterfinals, and decided earlier this week to call it a career after 42 years of coaching.
“I thought about it logically (after the season), and it’s time to go,” Reardon said. “We ended with a good season, and I’d rather go out a year early than a year late.”
Beall was at Higley from its opening in 2001, advancing to the 4A-II state championship game in 2006 and the 4A-II semifinals in 2007. He also won state titles at Snowflake in 1991 and 1992 and Payson in 1998,
“He felt it was the right time to turn the program,” Higley principal Larry Rother said. “I think he thought it was a good time to transition.”
Gibbons went 2-8 this season and 16-28 in his four-year tenure at McClintock.
The program was hurt two seasons ago when star running back Anthony Shivers transferred to Marcos de Niza. This season, the team’s top returning player, Jabril Gipson, was lost for the season before the year started due to injury.
“I’ve never used that as an excuse,” Gibbons said. “If you start talking about what-ifs, you’re selling the kids you do have short. But with just those two kids alone, things would have been much, much different. We probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
Joseph was fired in mid-November after finishing the season 5-6, the first losing season in school history. Joseph was 92-27 in his nine-year tenure at Mountain View after coming to the school from Marcos de Niza. He won a state title in 2002 and advanced to the title game three times. The Toros made the postseason every year under Joseph and won six region titles.
Zamenski was fired from Corona del Sol in early November after a rocky one-year tenure that included a pair of investigations in the past nine months for allegations of inappropriate conduct and making lewd comments toward players.
Corona began interviews on Saturday, and would like to have a coach chosen by Dec. 17. Joseph and Saguaro offensive coordinator Matt Lewis are two of the highest-profile names interviewing for the position.
The other openings are expected to be filled by early next year.