Matt Denny, who coached Mountain Pointe's baseball program the last three seasons, has been recommended by Casteel High School to become the school's next head baseball coach.
The Chandler Unified School District governing board will vote on Denny’s recommendation at its Nov. 13 meeting. Denny's request for release from his contract at Mountain Pointe was accepted on Wednesday.
“He will be an incredible addition to our school and community,” Casteel Athletic Director Ryan Ridenour said of Denny. “He is without a doubt, one of the top coaches in the state of Arizona and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to add him to our team.”
Denny led the Pride to a 57-34 record during his three seasons leading the program.
He coached several current and future Division I baseball players, including senior infielder Carson Tucker, who committed to play at the University of Texas as a junior, as well as Nick Wallerstedt, who is now playing at Arizona State University.
“When Matt took over the baseball program in 2017, he managed to work tirelessly to instill purpose, pride and performance into his baseball program by building a culture fostered by respect,” Mountain Pointe Athletic Director Aaron Frana said in an email. “He brought a sense of community to the baseball program and Mountain Pointe. He also developed his student athletes into more than just baseball players.
“Matt set a standard of excellence that we want to continue within our program.”
Denny takes over for former Casteel baseball coach Matt Perisho, who was let go in October after leading the program from its inception in 2016 and three varsity seasons from 2017-19.
Perisho led the Colts to a 71-21 record during his tenure, making the playoffs each year including the 3A semifinals in 2018.
Denny said he looks forward to the opportunity at Casteel and hopes to continue leading the program to success. He plans to begin working on Casteel’s campus as soon as possible to get acquainted with players ahead of tryouts in February.
The Colts begin their season on March 3 at home against South Mountain High School.
“I’m excited, I think it’s going to be a great opportunity,” Denny said. “It’s bittersweet leaving Mountain Pointe but it’s an opportunity I’m excited for. I loved it at Mountain Pointe, I loved the players and the school was great to me.
“I think I learned some things that I will use when I move over here.”
JJ Sferra will coach the Pride baseball team in an interim role for the 2020 season, Frana said.
Sferra graduated from Mountain Pointe in 2004 before going on to play two seasons at Arizona State University. He helped the Sun Devils finish third in the nation in 2006, hitting a walk off base hit in the College World Series against Nebraska.
“I think he is going to do great,” Denny said of Sferra. “He’s a great leader and the kids will gravitate toward him. He’s a great coach and a great person and I think he’s going to do an unbelievable job.
“I’m excited for him.”