Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.) suspends head coach Mark Nolan

Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.) suspends head coach Mark Nolan


Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.) suspends head coach Mark Nolan


Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep finished football practice Tuesday without head coach Mark Nolan and with parents hoping enough corrective action is taken in time to put their sons into the state playoffs.

Harold Slemmer, executive director of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, said Tuesday evening that he received a call from athletic director Monica Barrett and principal Jerry Zander that Nolan is suspended for Friday’s final regular-season game, which is senior night, against Casa Grande Vista Grande.

Slemmer added that the AIA has yet to receive a formal appeal from the school.

School president Jim Gmelich met with parents Tuesday evening for nearly two hours to hear their concerns.

Rob Yowell, whose son Cameron is a senior starting quarterback, said that not just current parents but original parents of the program, dating to the school’s beginning when Scot Bemis started the program, “demanded an appeal be filed (Wednesday morning) and offer whatever it takes to restore the team to the playoffs, including resignations and firings of leadership.”

“Not pretty, but full of passion,” Yowell texted.

An appeal could be filed Wednesday. The deadline to file an appeal is Thursday, Slemmer said.

The playoff seedings come out Saturday, so the AIA board, led by president Anna Battle, would have to hold an emergency meeting and make a ruling before no later than Friday night and before the brackets are released.

Notre Dame (7-2) would likely have a first-round home game in the 5A Conference playoffs if probation is lifted.

RELATED: Notre Dame Prep’s Gmelich apologizes to players

Attorney Jordan Rose, representing football players’ parents, sent a letter to the diocese on Tuesday morning, asking for the removal or suspension of both Gmelich and Nolan.

Last week, the AIA executive board placed the football program on probation, banning it from the playoffs, because of a recruiting violation and for violating an offseason conditioning program with a fully padded summer school football course. At the AIA’s November board meeting, the board is expected to look at an allegation that a player transferring from the school was induced to stay.

Before probation was given, Notre Dame told the AIA that it was eliminating 2017 spring football and its summer football course.

“What we really want to see happen is simple,” said Joe Jaquint, father of junior outside linebacker Joey Jaquint, who hired a lawyer on behalf of a group of parents. “We want the diocese, Notre Dame and the AIA come together, take the corrective action that is necessary that allows our kids to play in the playoffs. And then also get rid of any future issues we may have with the pending violation that is going to be talked about in November.”

Gmelich did not return messages to azcentral sports regarding Nolan’s suspension.

Read full story on



More USA TODAY High School Sports