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Tue, Oct. 22

PHS football program seeks stability with new coach Collett

The Prescott High varsity football head-coaching carousel officially stopped spinning this past Friday with the school administration's hiring of Mesa Red Mountain offensive coordinator Cody Collett.

Collett replaces interim coach Steve Moran, who led the Badgers to a 4-6 overall record last fall and subsequently chose not to apply for the full-time opening this winter.

Tonight at 6 inside PHS's multi-purpose room, Collett will meet with Prescott players and parents, as well as the public, about the direction he plans to take the Badgers' program as its new lead mentor.

"There's some great coaches and some great kids there," Collett said in a phone interview with the Daily Courier Thursday afternoon from Mesa. "I'm not going to make any flashy guarantees. George Washington once said, 'I can't guarantee we'll be successful, but I can guarantee we'll deserve to be successful.' And that's kind of what I want to bring to the table."

Collett, 31, is an Arizona native with 12 years of prep coaching experience, although the Badgers job will represent his first stint as a varsity head coach.

"Prescott has great tradition and it's a wonderful community. I'm getting married, and my soon-to-be wife and I are really excited to become a part of it," Collett said. "It's just something that intrigued me, and every time I've been up there, the people have been great."

During the 2011 season, Collett served as offensive coordinator at Division I Red Mountain, which finished with a 9-3 overall record and an appearance in the state quarterfinals.

Collett guided a unit that amassed 4,034 yards of total offense (1,865 passing and 2,169 rushing) and 44 TDs (19 passing and 25 rushing).

"We had a balanced approach last year," Collett said. "We had a number of pretty good players and wanted to find ways to get our athletes the ball."

Prior to his stint at Red Mountain, Collett was offensive coordinator at D-I Mesa Dobson from 2005-08. He coached two of the four most productive offenses in Dobson program history in terms of points per game and rushing yards per contest.

Collett, a P.E. teacher with a bachelor's degree in secondary education/history from Ottawa University in Phoenix, worked his way up the high school coaching ranks, starting as a freshman coach/defensive coordinator and a JV head coach.

He moved on to become offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at Dobson before being hired at Red Mountain as running backs coach in 2010 and tackling his latest role as offensive coordinator this season.

At Prescott, Collett said he will install an offense and defense that caters to the type of players he has, whom he still needs to evaluate.

"We're going to suit our personnel with our kids," he said.

PHS athletic director Bill White said that after he and his fellow football-coach selection committee members reviewed more than 30 applications and interviewed eight candidates to fill the Badgers' top job, Collett fit the bill.

"I really like his enthusiasm and the fact that he really wants to come to Prescott and be a part of it," White said of Collett, who will move here after the 2011-12 school year ends. "He knew a lot about the history of our program, and he very much wanted to be a head coach."

Collett said one of his main goals is to steady the ship of the Prescott program - something that it has been lacking within the past year.

"Building those relationships with the kids and them realizing that there's going to be some stability will be important to our success, definitely," Collett said.

The PHS football-coaching carousel began turning last July when Moran took over for Bob Young.

Young, the longtime coach at Cottonwood Mingus who accepted the Prescott position late last spring, abruptly resigned over the summer to return to Mingus before he ever coached a game for the Badgers.

Prescott High's athletic department initially hired Young as the replacement for former veteran PHS coach Lou Beneitone, who retired last spring following the 2010 campaign.

Today, nearly a year after Beneitone's retirement from coaching, Badgers administrators believe they at last have their man in Collett.

"I'll tell you what - I feel a lot better than I did two weeks ago," White said with a chuckle. "I've talked to people that (Cody's) worked with in the past, including the head coach he's working with right now (Red Mountain's Ron Wisneiwski), and they gave him very high recommendations. He's ready to go."

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