Paul Moro, seven wins away from having the most in state history, said he has applied for the Mesa Mountain View football coaching job.
Jesse Parker, who started Mountain View’s program in the mid-1970s and laid the groundwork to championship success, will be part of the interviewing committee in January when the application process ends. Applications close Jan. 8.
That could help Moro, whose coaching principles and disciplines he credits to Parker and former Eagar Round Valley coach Tot Workman, taken more than 25 years ago.
“I bet his beliefs and my beliefs are similar,” Moro said.
Moro turned Lakeside Blue Ridge into a mini-Mountain View, leading the Yellow Jackets to 13 Division IV state championships and 318 wins in 30 years with physical, overachieving players, before moving onto Poston Butte two years ago.
Moro went through his first winless season (0-10), after taking Poston Butte to the Division II playoffs in his first year and to a 7-4 record.
He said remaining in Division II with several Division I teams moving down and the schedule handed to him was difficult, especially with only 12 seniors and five juniors on the team.
Moro was named azcentral sports’ Small Schools Coach of the Year in 2013 after leading Blue Ridge to an unexpected Division IV championship.
He said at 64 he still has tremendous energy. He is six wins away from tying former Tucson Amphitheater coach Vern Friedli’s 331 for most all-time in Arizona.
“I can’t just go 40 hours a week,” he said. “I need at least 60. I’m going crazy now without having a team to lead. I can only golf so much. My golf clubs are going to fall apart.”
Moro said that he used to take his Blue Ridge players to camps held by Parker and Workman, from whom Moro used to begin what he called his summer “Mountain Camp.”
“It was a version of what they did,” he said.
Moro believes Mountain View can get back to championships, despite the expanding Southeast Valley, where the competition and resources are at an all-time high.
If given the job, expect Moro to embrace Parker and the tradition he built, and making the rallying cry to former Mountain View football families, “Come back to the neighborhood.”
Reach Obert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-460-1710. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert.
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