Longtime Red Mountain boys basketball coach Greg Sessions won't have his coaching contract renewed for next season.
Sessions had been the school's coach for the past 14 seasons and coaching in the Mesa district for the past 36 years. He said he was surprised of the change when he met with the school's administration late this week.
"The word I used was flabbergasted. That was my first reaction," he said Friday. "...We haven’t lost kids, we’ve been winning games. I’m fairly surprised. It feels like a change for the sake of change. I’m still kind of confused."
Red Mountain went 18-14 this season and lost to Mountain Pointe in the first round of the Division I state tournament on Thursday night. The Lions best season was 2011-2012, a 23-10 record and first-round playoff victory, the lone postseason win in Sessions' tenure.
Sessions took over the program in the late 1990s and helped turn around a once-struggling program. Over the past nine years, Red Mountain is 149-116 overall.
The school will likely form a committee of teachers, coaches and district administration to help conduct a search for a new coach.
"Red Mountain High School is a professional learning community committed to high expectations," Red Mountain athletic director Jim Gowdy wrote in an email. "This applies to our students, faculty, and, not least of all, our athletic programs.
"After much reflection, we have decided to not renew Mr. Session's coaching contract next school year. We appreciate Mr. Session's contributions to our school community, both in the classroom and on the basketball court. We look forward to continue developing a competitive basketball program built on a solid foundation from Mr. Session's prior efforts."
Sessions said he's not sure what he'll do moving forward, be it coaching or being an assistant elsewhere, or simply retire (he's retired from full-time teaching). His son, Andy, was a junior on this year's Lions squad. Greg also has a younger son who plays basketball and is about to enter high school.
"I have no intention of being a head coach again," he said.
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6576.