After leading the Campo Verde football program to its best season ever, head coach Max Ragsdale has stepped down and is set to become the school’s athletic director.
Campo Verde’s previous athletic director, Renee Regoli, announced in March she would not return next year. The governing board voted to approve Ragsdale's move on Tuesday night. The position change go into effect on July 1.
“It’s a phenomenal opportunity,” Ragsdale said. “To be the second hire at a school and then to be able to continue on as an admin, I’m truly blessed. There’s only been two ADs in the school’s history, Eric Vasquez and Renee Regoli, that’s it.
“So, to be able to follow in their footsteps and keep going with what they’ve built, it’s a huge opportunity.”
Ragsdale was hired to become Campo Verde’s first-ever head football coach in 2009 by current Notre Dame Prep athletic director Mark Cisterna, who served as the athletic director for Gilbert Public Schools at the time.
In nine seasons, Ragsdale led the Coyotes to a 61-40 overall record and made the playoffs eight times. The only year Campo Verde was left out of postseason play was in 2016 despite finishing the regular season with a 7-3 record.
Last fall, the Ragsdale-led Coyotes found themselves in the inaugural Open Division rankings, where they remained until a loss to Higley forced them out. The Coyotes finished as the sixth-ranked team in the 5A conference but found momentum in the playoffs.
Campo Verde followed up an opening-round win over McClintock with a come-from-behind upset victory over Higley in the quarterfinals. The Coyotes then knocked off Notre Dame Prep in the semifinals to advance to their first-ever championship game at Sun Devil Stadium.
The Coyotes fell to top-ranked Williams Field in the title game, 19-0.
“It was everything I wanted it to be, except the last 48 minutes,” Ragsdale said. “The kids played unbelievably and rose to the occasion. They played as a team. I would like to help spread that not only to the football program and leave a legacy there but to all the other programs.
“That’s what they do. They’re all hard-working kids.”
Ragsdale said he and Campo Verde Principal Krista Cox will now begin the search for the football program’s second-ever head coach.
“After Tuesday night I will be meeting with my principal and we get the process started,” Ragsdale said.