Zak Hill Saguaro

Zak Hill, who spent the last year as an assistant coach at American Leadership Academy -- Gilbert North and has extensive coaching experience at the college level, has been hired to take over the Saguaro football program.

After a month-long search for a new head football coach at one of the top high school programs in the country, Athletic Director Matt Harris announced Tuesday the school has hired former Arizona State offensive coordinator and American Leadership Academy – Gilbert North assistant Zak Hill as its next head football coach.

Hill becomes the program’s fourth head coach in its history and follow in the footsteps of John Sanders and Jason Mohns, who both played a pivotal role in putting the Sabercats on the map by winning multiple state championships.

“Coach Hill’s wealth of coaching knowledge and experience at the collegiate and high school levels will create elite opportunities for our student-athletes to develop and excel, on and off the field,” Harris said in a press release.

The search for a new head football coach began Monday, Dec. 12, two days after Saguaro fell to Basha in the Open Division state championship game. Mohns, an Arizona State alum, announced his departure from the program in a heartfelt message posted to social media.

Speculation had swirled for weeks as to whether Mohns would join new Sun Devil head coach Kenny Dillingham’s staff. And while he quickly refuted any rumors, he ultimately was tabbed as Arizona State’s tight ends coach shortly after the state title game.

“It has truly been one of the greatest sources of pride in my life to lead this tradition rich program,” Mohns wrote in the December post. “Now it’s time for me to turn the page on this amazing chapter of my life and pass the ‘torch’ to the next lucky coach who will have the greatest privilege of leading the Saguaro Football Program.”

Mohns spent 16 years with the Saguaro program, 11 of which as head coach when he took over for John Sanders in 2012. He led the Sabercats to a 112-19 record during his tenure, winning seven state titles – one of which the coveted Open Division in 2021, his second of three total appearances at the state’s highest level.

Harris cast a wide net for the Saguaro job when Mohns stepped down. He aimed to look internally at current coaches on staff, around the state and country for the next leader of the program.

Hill emerged as the top candidate for the job.

“Saguaro has a rich history and tradition of excellence in both academics and athletics,” Hill said. “I feel privileged to continue the leadership of Saguaro's football team after the historic head coaching tenures of Jason Mohns, John Sanders, and others.”

Hill spent the last year as an assistant coach at American Leadership Academy – Gilbert North, where he helped lead the Eagles to the 4A state championship.

Before ALA, Hill spent two years as the offensive coordinator under Herm Edwards, joining the Sun Devils in December 2019 from Boise State, where he held the same position.

Hill began coaching shortly after his playing career at Central Washington ended. He joined the Eastern Washington staff for a season before spending three years at Hillsboro High School in Oregon. He returned to Eastern Washington in 2009 and remained until 2015, when he joined Boise State’s staff.

Now, he will lead one of the top high school football programs in the country as head coach.

“I'm eager to get started with the players and coaching staff so we can continue to raise the standards and expectations, both on and off the field,” Hill said.

Have an interesting story? Contact Zach Alvira at (480)898-5630 or zalvira@timespublications.com. Follow him on Twitter @ZachAlvira

 

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