Originally Published: July 9, 2017 6:05 a.m.
Former Bradshaw Mountain High School football coach David Moran will stay in Prescott Valley for the 2017-18 academic year, where he will teach physical education and possibly coach at Canyon View Preparatory Academy.
Moran said in late June that he signed a one-year contract at the charter school. Four months ago, the Humboldt Unified School District voted not to renew Moran’s contract as a P.E. teacher and he wasn’t kept on as the Bears’ varsity head coach.
“I want to thank the parents and the community for being really supportive of the Bradshaw Mountain football program while I was there,” Moran said.
Athletic director Mark Ernster, who played a role in Moran’s dismissal, left Bradshaw Mountain over the summer to accept a similar position at Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria.
In three seasons at Bradshaw Mountain, Moran compiled a 23-11 overall record and led the current 4A Bears to the state playoffs all three years. He guided Bradshaw to two section/region titles in 2014 and 2016. In the Division III playoffs in 2015, Bradshaw upset higher-seeded Arcadia in the first round in Phoenix before succumbing to Sunnyslope in the quarterfinals.
“We started beating Phoenix schools, and I’m proud that the culture changed [to where we were more competitive than recent previous years],” Moran said. “Our benchmark wasn’t [simply beating] Prescott High School; it was the Saguaros [a state power]. We want to be like them. The mentality changed. Our ‘Black Plague’ defense was contagious. The kids believed it.”
This past month, Moran said he recently received a few coaching offers in the Phoenix area to serve as a coordinator or a head coach. But Moran added that he wants to take a year off from coaching to “just teach.” He added, however, that he might start an eight-man football program at Canyon View.
One knock administrators and the Humboldt Unified School District governing board had against Moran was that he hadn’t yet earned a standard teaching certificate. Moran said he will graduate from Rio Salado College in May 2018 with his full certificate.
“I’m preparing for teaching in August,” Moran said.
Moran’s also thinking of applying for college coaching positions, although those feelings could change.
“It’s difficult right now because I want to stay here,” said Moran, a star quarterback and defensive back for Bradshaw Mountain in the early- to mid-1990s. “But there are other opportunities out there.”
Moran has connections at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he played for Lumberjacks football coach Jerome Souers in the late 1990s, as well as at Oregon State University in Corvallis, where he began his college career.
“The goal is to be a coordinator or a head coach,” Moran said.
In the meantime, Moran added that he plans “on learning more football” to become an even better coach.
“I’ll be traveling around, watching the Hamiltons, the Chandlers [6A powerhouses in the Phoenix area],” Moran said. “I’ll go to [watch] ASU, U of A.”
Although he intends to keep his distance from Bradshaw Mountain football this fall, Moran said he “will go to a couple” of games.
“I want the best for these kids,” Moran said. “I support them. They put a lot of time and energy into the program.”
As for his stint at Bradshaw Mountain, Moran defended it, saying that he and his assistant coaches cleaned up the program, both academically and athletically.
He added that the football team’s players attended two study halls per week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, to improve their grades.
“We monitored their work during quiet one-hour sessions,” Moran said. “The coaching staff monitored grades weekly.”
As time passed during Moran’s three seasons at Bradshaw, he said the players gradually took on the “coaching staff’s personality” and became a “Bear family.”
“Our athletes bought in to what we were doing, and it became contagious,” Moran said. “These last three or four years I put together a pretty good coaching staff as far as commitment, belief in the program and caring for the student-athletes.”
Moran added that most of his assistant coaches have remained on first-year Bears coach Chuck Moller’s staff.
“I trust my coaches; I believe they were loyal to me,” Moran said. “They all supported me.”
Bradshaw Mountain kicks off its 2017 season at 7 p.m. Aug. 25, when it plays host to Cactus at Bob Pavlich Field in Prescott Valley.