PHOENIX – From priest to coach…how does Fr. Eric Tellez manage and juggle the two professions?
His day job and his ‘other’ day job complement each other in more ways than one. You can see Coach Tellez on the football field almost every day.
“They do give me Sundays off, yes,” Fr. Tellez chuckled. “As a priest, I listen to people and what is on their hearts and here at Sunnyslope, it’s full of good people who want to do the right thing.”
Fr. Tellez is the head priest at St. Patrick Catholic Community in Scottsdale, Ariz. but is a long-time born and raised Arizonian.
“I grew up in Flagstaff, Ariz. and played football for the Coconino Panthers,” Fr. Tellez said.
Fr. Tellez graduated in 1977 and went on to attend the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Santa Fe, N.M., and Benedictine seminary in Mount Angel, Ore., to become a priest.
But the question remains — how did Father become coach, too?
“One day I was on the sideline (at Sunnyslope) and they handed me a clipboard and said, ‘Get to work!’ Fr. Tellez chuckled.
That was over ten seasons ago.
Fr. Tellez’s admiration for Sunnyslope football resonates with him to this day just as strong as ever.
“I love everything about Sunnyslope and I really could not see myself coaching anywhere else.”