Thursday was a good day to be Mike Gibbons. After more than 15 years as an assistant, Gibbons was named the new football coach at Tempe McClintock High School, where he intends to build on the school’s recent football success in 4A Division I the past few years.
But there’s more. Gibbons, 39, is back at his alma mater.
A former player under then-Chargers coach Karl Kiefer, Gibbons is a 1985 graduate of McClintock. He spent 13 years as a Chargers assistant from 1989-2002 and also spent those years as the school’s softball coach.
“It’s great to come back from which I came,” he said. “The biggest thing I want to do is be a link to the past.”
He was an assistant at Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep in 2003, then spent two years as Roy Lopez’s offensive coordinator at Tempe Marcos de Niza. He returned to Notre Dame last year as Scot Bemis’ offensive coordinator.
Gibbons takes over for Steve Campbell, who left McClintock to become the football coach at Gilbert Williams Field High School in January.
The Chargers have won three state titles — the last coming in 1989 when Gibbons was a first-year assistant — but since McClintock has made three consecutive playoff appearances, he plans to continue what Campbell left behind.
“There are very few programs in the state that can boast three state championships,” Gibbons said. “There is no reason that we can’t do it again. I believe McClintock is in the midst of a great renaissance.”