Scottsdale Notre Dame will open a new football stadium in the fall with a new coach.
For the first time in 13 years, Gary Gregory will not be on the sideline.
Gregory, who was part of Scot Bemis’ staff as defensive coordinator when the school opened and took over as head coach after Bemis died in January 2012, parted with Notre Dame on Monday after what he described as a “cordial” meeting with Principal James Gmelich.
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Notre Dame will conduct a nationwide search for Gregory’s replacement.
“Sometimes, it’s just time,” said Gregory, who may take next season just watching high school games before determining whether he returns to coaching. “For whatever reason… There are no hard feelings.”
Notre Dame, which plays in Division II, was 4-6 last season. The Saints went 6-4 in 2013. They went 5-6, losing to Tucson Salpointe Catholic in the first round in 2012 in Gregory’s first full season as head coach.
Gregory took over the team during the 2011 season when Bemis went on leave while fighting stage 4 lung cancer. That team went 7-5, before losing to Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge in the quarterfinals.
Gregory was Bemis’ defensive coordinator on the 2007 and ’08 teams that captured Class 4A Division II championships. The 2008 team went 14-0.
“Maybe they were looking for new momentum,” Gregory said. “I felt OK yesterday. But today I woke up and I’m not longer part of Notre Dame. It feels strange.”
Gregory did not teach at Notre Dame.
A message was sent to Gmelich for comment.
Notre Dame has been in the building process of a new on-campus stadium with synthetic surface. The opening was delayed last season. The team practiced on the new field during the last week of the regular season before finishing with a 42-14 win over Tempe Corona del Sol at Scottsdale Community College, which has been home site for Notre Dame games since its inception.
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