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Football coaching search updates

Posted by on January 15, 2013 – 2:58 pm

Arcadia has gotten a jump on the other East Valley football coaching searches, as principal John Biera could make a hire by Friday.

Final interviews are this week, according to athletic director Kevin Mooney, and it’s believed to be down to a pair of candidates.

“It’s a long process, but it’s the only way to find the best coach for our student-athletes,” Mooney said in an email.

Lenny Abt was the interim coach last year following Jim Ellison’s sudden resignation before the season started. The Titans went 4-6 one year after making the state semifinals.

Ellison and Highland defensive coordinator Sammy Johns are a pair of higher profile names interviewing for the Gilbert opening Tuesday or Friday, according to a source close to the situation.

The Tigers fired Leland Rodgers in late November for alleged physical and verbal mistreatment of players. He went 3-7 in one year as coach after coming over from Mesquite. Gilbert hasn’t had a winning season since 2007, Jesse Parker’s last at the helm.

Lakeside Blue Ridge coach Paul Moro inquired about the job but decided against applying, according to the source.

Multiple sources said former Red Mountain coach Jim Jones is a possible candidate to take over at Mesquite. Jones won back-to-back 5A state championships with the Mountain Lions in 2000 and 2001. He was asked to resign in 2009 and has been an assistant at San Tan Foothills since. Mesquite athletic director Jason Grantham was the baseball coach at Red Mountain when Jones was there as football coach.

The Wildcats went 2-8 last season in Matt Gracey’s second year. He was asked to resign after the season.

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