Shaun Aguano is leaving the football dynasty he built at Chandler High School to become the running backs coach at Arizona State.
Aguano did not return messages by azcentral sports. He met with his players to inform them on Wednesday morning, Principal Larry Rother said.
“This is a big loss for us,” Rother said. “He was always developing the kids with their character and perseverance. He always felt the wins would take care of itself.”
Aguano led Chandler to the past three 6A state championships and four in the last five years. Before then, Chandler had not won a state championship since the Arizona Interscholastic Association went into a playoff format in 1959.
Aguano, 48, takes ASU coach Herm Edwards’ assistant position left open by John Simon, who resigned to become the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at Memphis for former ASU assistant Mike Norvell.
Aguano has had great success with running backs.
This past season, DeCarlos Brooks became the third consecutive back to rush for more than 2,000 yards at Chandler, following TJ Green (now at Utah) and Drake Anderson (Northwestern). Brooks has signed with California.
Rother said an immediate nationwide search will begin for Aguano’s replacement.
“We’re a nationally ranked program and we’ll do a national search to find the best possible coach,” Rother said. “Whether he will be across the country or in our back yard, we will see.”
Aguano, who is from Hawaii, was elevated from offensive coordinator to head coach at Chandler in 2011. He was 88-19, including two national bowl game wins in 2016 and ’17, in his eight-year Chandler head coaching career.
On this year’s 13-1 team that set a big-schools record for most points (65) in a championship game, he had seven seniors sign with Division I colleges for football on the Early Signing Day on Dec. 19. More players are expected to sign on Feb. 6, the ‘traditional’ national signing day.
There are several more seniors who could be signing on Feb. 6. Rother said that there are assistant coaches in place to help those players with their recruiting process.
Three years ago, there was speculation that Aguano would join Todd Graham’s staff at ASU but he said then he wasn’t contacted by ASU.
Aguano was an offensive coordinator in last week’s Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando.