Paul Moro, who has the most all-time Arizona high school football coaching wins with 336, said he was fired Wednesday as head coach at Tempe Marcos de Niza.
Moro was diagnosed during last season with cancer that caused him to miss a week, but since then, he said, it has been in remission.
He said he is feeling stronger each week and was anticipating his best team in his third season as head coach. But he felt he could no longer coach and be a teacher.
“They wanted somebody on campus,” Moro said. “It’s not the way I wished to end my career. I feel bad for the kids. I don’t feel bad for me.”
Moro said he won’t seek another head coaching job but didn’t rule out being a consultant for a program.
“Four months of the season, I put in 70 to 80 hours a week,” Moro said about combining teaching with coaching. “That’s too much. I need not to be a full-time teacher. It’s not fair to my family.”
Some schools in the state begin spring football workouts on Monday.
Marcos de Niza is advertising the opening on the Tempe Union High School district’s website.
AZCentral Sports sent messages to Marcos de Niza Principal Sean McDonald and Athletic Director Carlos Alvarado, seeking comment.
“Coach Moro resigned from his teaching position at Marcos and while we are very sad to see him go, it is a practice in our district that head football coaches have teaching responsibilities on campus, while leading the football programs,” said Jennifer Liewer, executive director of community relations for the Tempe district, in an email. “Coach Moro has been offered the opportunity to continue to have a role with the team in a role other than head coach. He is a wonderful community treasure and we appreciate everything he has done for our students.”
Moro won 13 state championships during his storybook tenure at Lakeside Blue Ridge, before making the move to the Valley to lead Poston Butte’s program. That lasted two seasons before he resigned.
He coached Marcos de Niza the past two seasons, leading to the Padres to a 5-5 mark and the 4A playoffs in 2017, where they lost 34-7 to Cave Creek Cactus Shadows in the first round.
“It’s usually not until Year 3 when things start to fall into place,” Moro said. “I feel this will be the best team. There are a lot of good players.”