Here’s a head scratcher for you: A head coach who built a program over six years into a back-to-back regional champion with the first playoff win in 15 years has resigned his position … so he can accept a post as offensive coordinator at a rival high school.
As reported by Tucson Local Media, Marana (Ariz.) football coach Andy Litten is leaving his position after six years at the helm. His next destination is Chandler Hamilton High, where he’ll serve as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
“I took over a program that had won, I believe, four games in four years, had a 14-game losing streak, and when I took over I extended that to 19,” Litten told Tucson Local Media. “So, I felt all of those 19 games. And so, for us to turn around the program and make it something that the alumni are really proud of is something that probably is one of the proudest of things that I am in my life.
“The Chandler area is probably in all of Arizona, one of the more elite areas, and I’d say that Marana and Northside football is becoming incredibly elite as well. You’re with Ironwood Ridge and Mountain View and Marana, CDO and Pusch Ridge. It’s one of those areas that you’re starting to get a lot of really good teams staying in place for their high school, and you have a good group of coaches that have done a really good job with their kids.”
Catchment area aside, the decision to leave a head coaching position for one that is farther down the metaphorical masthead is a remarkable choice. One would think it’s being financially motivated, though that, too, is just a shot in the dark. Litten’s star pupil, Marana junior quarterback Trenton Bourguet, was clearly stunned to lose his coach at a moment’s notice.
“I was very shocked when I first heard about him leaving, but I’m happy for him and I hope the best for him at his new school,” Bourguet said. “He turned around this program and the culture in our town and helped put Marana back on the map.”
“Coach Litten was one of my best friends on campus, and we would talk every day whether it was about football, school or another sport,” Bourguet said. “He always believed in me and I was on varsity since my freshman year. He and I have built a relationship with each other that I’ll remember forever.”