Phoenix Mountain Pointe boys basketball coach Sam Ballard resigned his position on Friday night.
Ballard coached the Pride for 10 seasons after spending five years at Phoenix Camelback. He was 171-92 at Mountain Pointe, and led the Pride to the 5A Division I state semifinals in the 2005-2006 season. The Pride went 11-14 last season and did not qualify for the state tournament.
Ballard will continue teaching social studies and government at the school.
“He’s unbelievable in the classroom,” Mountain Pointe athletic director Ian Moses said. “He’s been an amazing teacher, we’re fortunate to keep him here.”
Ballard didn’t return phone calls seeking comment, but Moses said Ballard might look into coaching at the college level.
Mountain Pointe now has two basketball coaching vacancies. Girls coach Wendy Stalder will not return to the school next year. Moses said the school would like to hire a new girls coach by the end of next week, and fill the boys job before May 1.
Chandler Perry has almost a complete roster of coaches for the 2007-2008 school year, its first under principal Dan Serrano.
The school hired Preston Jones as its football coach in February and finalized the other coaches earlier this month. The Pumas’ coaches are: Lorina Johnson, badminton; Richard Trujillo, boys cross country; Amber Clark, girls cross country; J.J. Chandler, boys swimming; Keddie Murrish, girls swimming; Kirstin Gregg, girls volleyball; Mark Nold, boys golf; Tom Dunn, girls golf; Nold, boys basketball; Trujillo, girls basketball; Darren Johnson, wrestling; Jim Vanney, boys soccer; Heather Johnson, girls soccer; Shane Hillstrom, baseball; Allison Robinson, softball; Clark, girls track; Tracey Rodarte, boys volleyball; and Jessica Pullen, girls tennis. Serrano has yet to select a boys track and boys tennis coach.
Three prominent track athletes from Phoenix Desert Vista settled on where they are going to continue their educations. Defending 5A 300-meter intermediate hurdle champion Rebecca Nelson got a scholarship from the University of Arizona. Thunder pole vaulter Shea Kearney signed with Rice University in Houston early last week and distance runner Matt Swift-Kraemer will attend Western State University in Gunnison, Colo., on a track and cross country scholarship.
Gilbert High’s Chase Kelley will sign with Quincy (Ill.) University, a Division II school that competes in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.