Mountain View asks Jesse Parker to help select new football coach

Mountain View asks Jesse Parker to help select new football coach

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Mountain View asks Jesse Parker to help select new football coach

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Gilbert coach Jesse Parker walks off the field at the half during a game against Highland in 2008.

Gilbert coach Jesse Parker walks off the field at the half during a game against Highland in 2008.

No matter how much the landscape has changed, Jesse Parker believes Mesa Mountain View can be a state championship football program again.

The school’s first and most successful coach will have a chance to make that vision happen.

Parker said that Mountain View Principal Greg Milbrandt reached out to him to help select the new coach.

“His reasoning for that was that I knew the community and the parents,” Parker said.

Chad DeGrenier steps down as football coach at Mesa Mountain View
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That community has changed since Mountain View last played for the state championship in 2006. Its last state championship came in 2002, its last unbeaten season. The area has expanded with Chandler enjoying greater success since Mountain View last won state.

Mountain View will begin interviews after the application window closes on Jan. 8, Milbrandt said.

“Our goals and expectations are to get back to our winning ways in football,” Milbrandt said.

Parker opened the school in the mid-1970s, and after giving up just 14 points playing an Independent schedule in 1977, Mountain View went 13-1 and  won the state championship at the top division in 1978, despite then-Mesa Public Schools superintendent Dr. George Smith telling him that it would take several years to build a competitive program.

“I remember I told him, ‘That ain’t going to happen,’ ” Parker said. “If you don’t think you can do it, you’re not going to do it.”

With Poston and Fremont junior highs becoming valuable feeder programs, Parker led Mountain View to the state final seven times between ’78 and ’93, winning four championships.

Since 2009, Mountain View has become a school just trying to make the playoffs.

Bordow: Mountain View needs to accept new reality

Mountain View got into the playoffs at 3-7 this year, but that was because there were only 17 teams in Division I with only one team not getting in. After a 56-0 first-round loss to Phoenix Mountain Pointe, Chad DeGrenier resigned after five seasons and not advancing past the first round during that time.

The Toros haven’t won a playoff game since 2009. The 2008 team went 12-0 before losing to Phoenix Brophy Prep in the semifinals.

‘”People say they need to hire a coach that will start over, take two or three years to build a program,” Parker said. “You know me. I don’t believe in that. You’ve got to go in there with the idea we’re going to compete right now. They compete in basketball. They won the state wrestling championship. They’re usually a factor in track.

“I can’t see why they can’t. But, hey, there are too many people who are bound by society’s thinking. You can’t let the thinking of society determine your  own beliefs and values.”

Some interesting names are popping up with Parker ties, such as Queen Creek head coach Travis Schureman  and offensive coordinator Joe Germaine and Mesa Skyline head coach Angelo Paffumi. Germaine and Schureman played on Parker’s last state championship team in 1993. Paffumi was part of Parker’s staff at Gilbert, before Parker stepped down for good as a head coach in 2008 with 309 career wins.

Mesa Mountain View High’s all-time greatest football players

But it might be hard to pry those guys away. Germaine handed the Queen Creek program over to Shureman two years ago because his other  job became too time-consuming. Shureman and Paffumi have their programs rolling strong.

But who knows?

Parker’s presence could be a magnet for the top head coaches to take a stab at returning Mountain View to its glory years.

Reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-460-1710. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert.

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