Originally Published: February 24, 2016 9:56 a.m.
PRESCOTT – After a lengthy process of sifting through the best possible candidates to lead the Badger football program, Prescott athletic director Missy Townsend officially announced Tuesday they had their man.
And they stayed in house.
Michael Gilpin, who was an assistant coach under Cody Collett for the past three years, was selected by the football hiring committee to lead the Badgers for the 2016 season and beyond.
Gilpin said he’s very excited and that it’s a “tremendous honor” to take over such a storied program.
“In a lot of ways, it’s a dream come true. … I wasn’t going to chase jobs around to climb the later, so in the back of my mind I was content being an assistant, so I always did the best I could. … This is the perfect opportunity,” Gilpin said, adding that he intends to continue building a great program.
“I want to make sure above and beyond anything else that the program remains something everyone is proud of,” said Gilpin, who becomes the 30th head coach in the 106-year history of the program.
Townsend said he was the right candidate for the job due to his “understanding of the football program.”
“His time under Coach Collett provided him numerous opportunities to learn the intricacies of the program, as well as become a central figure in the relationships with our football players,” Townsend said. “Coach Gilpin knows the game of football from the youth level to the college level, as demonstrated by his background.”
On Dec. 9, 2015, Collett announced his resignation as he took a similar teaching/coaching position with Queen Creek’s Poston Butte High School.
The athletic department has reportedly received over 30 applications for the head football coaching position.
In his four years leading the Badgers, Collett compiled a 27-14 overall record with one state playoff appearance, which came during his first season in the fall of 2012.
Townsend said everyone is excited to now have a football coach in place.
“[We are] very excited to welcome coach Gilpin as the newest member of our department and we look forward to watching him continue the tradition of excellence that Prescott High School football has been in the state of Arizona for the last 106 years,” Townsend said.
Gilpin, who was the offensive coordinator, said he believes the transition from Collett to himself will be smooth.
“I think that I will have a few different ways to attack a defense, but the boys are going to have a quick adjustment period between Cody and myself,” Gilpin said. “We’re focused on these seniors having a great season, and it’s been a privilege to coach them.”
Gilpin, who played football at the College of Redwoods in northern California, said he couldn’t be more pleased with all the support he’s received from the community since Collett resigned.
“It’s a great football town, and they really love their Badgers. They know if you’re putting the time in for their boys, they’ll do anything they can to help you,” Gilpin said. “The number of parents calling in to offer support has been a pretty neat process.”