The architect of Coconino football’s renaissance will not be back.
On Friday that Arizona Daily Sun reported that Coconino head football coach Mike Moran is stepping down.
Moran led the Panthers to a 7-3 record and No. 14 ranking. Coco just missed out on the playoffs because teams from weaker regions finished below them and get automatic berths into the state tournament.
Last season the Panthers went 2-8, beating only 3A Page and Flagstaff in the season finale.
This year Coconino handed Mingus Union its only region loss. It was the Panthers’ first win over Mingus since 2011. Mingus Union won those games 56-0, 78-6, 38-0, 41-13, 49-7 and 28-17.
With the victory over the Marauders, the Panthers earned their first 4-0 start since 1992.
Seven wins is Coconino’s most since 2004 and it was their first winning record since 2012.
The Sun reported that Coconino assistant coach Mike Lapsley will take over the program.
“It was my job to rebuild it, to bring life back into the program so to speak,” Moran said to the Sun. “And I didn’t know how long it was going to take. There was no time frame; I was in it for the long haul. I was going to do whatever it took to bring the program back to prominence. What happened was that I hired a guy named Mike Lapsley.”
Moran is the Panthers’ head boy basketball coach. Last year they went 23-7, their first winning record since 2012-13, after going 10-18 in 2016-17 and reached the state play-in game.