The coach that did his best to disrupt Brophy and snare a swim title away from the school in recent years will now guide the Broncos’ swim program.
Coach Pat O’Neill will leave Mountain View at the end of the school year to replace longtime Broncos mentor Bil Kopas, who is leaving to take a principal's position in New York. Kopas has guided Brophy to the last 15 5A titles. The Broncos haven't failed to win the 5A crown since 1987.
O’Neill guided Mountain View to five of six runner-up finishes in school history to Brophy in the last 10 years, leaving the Toros with the moniker of public school champs those seasons. O’Neill, who also teaches math, will continue teaching as he currently does at Mountain View.
‘‘To get me out of Mountain View there was only one job I'd have even looked at and that was Brophy,’’ O’Neill said. ‘‘The atmosphere there is great, and the facilities are outstanding. My seniors (Mountain View) are going to try to repeat for the third time as public school champs. Leaving them is bittersweet. I've known a lot of them since they were seven or eight years old and I've had their brothers and sisters, too. It's a great group of swim parents I'm leaving.’’
-clinging to playoff spots: o With one game to play, the winners of the 5A Southern and 5A Metro regions could prevent a couple of teams in the top 16 of the power-point rankings from postseason berths.
After Tuesday's games, Highland, Red Mountain, Tucson Salpointe and Sierra Vista Buena were 13th through 16th, respectively, in the power-point rankings. Sixteenth seed Buena can clinch a berth as a region champ if it defeats Tucson Flowing Wells Thursday, while No. 19 Yuma Cibola is guaranteed a spot since it is the Gila Valley region champ.
Laveen Cesar Chavez, No. 24 currently, wins the Metro title if it beats Phoenix Central today. Chavez would also bump a top-16 team that is not a region champ from the playoffs, which could be Highland, Red Mountain or Salpointe.