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Sun, Sept. 15

Mingus alum Rodriguez takes over MUHS boys hoops

New Mingus head coach  Albert Rodriguez leads the Marauders during their win over Flagstaff on Friday night at Camp Verde’s Cowboy Summer Shootout. VVN/James Kelley

New Mingus head coach Albert Rodriguez leads the Marauders during their win over Flagstaff on Friday night at Camp Verde’s Cowboy Summer Shootout. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus Union turned to a familiar face to take over the boys basketball program.

MUHS alumnus Albert Rodriguez took the reigns of Marauder boys basketball this summer.

“It’s been good,” Rodriguez said. “Everybody’s been welcoming and just trying to pick up where we left off.”

Rodriguez, who graduated from Mingus Union in 2002, took over for 2018-19 Grand Canyon Region Coach Of The Year Dave Beery after he resigned following the season. Rodriguez had been an assistant.

“He’s been in our program for a number of years and he was familiar with our systems but I think he’s going to bring a fresh new perspective and he just jumped right in and he’s got stuff going in the summer time and he took the team to San Diego,” Mingus athletic director Yancey DeVore said. “We’re just impressed to have quality coaches that we can choose from and we’re excited to bring him on. Beery did an excellent job for us and we hate to see him go but Albert will be a good fit for our program, so we’re really excited to have him on board.”

Beery said he’s excited for Rodriguez and that he’ll do a great job.

“He’s a player that’s played here so I think that is cool and exciting, a player who was successful here in his high school career,” Beery said. “I’ve enjoyed working with him. He’s got a great mind for the game. He sees things that I didn’t especially on the offensive end of the court, so it was nice to have him at practice and I’m glad that he gets a chance to show what he can do to the school and the community.”

Rodriguez said he’s just trying to keep the program on the incline.

“Alumni coaches are very familiar with our school, our community, the demographics that we work with and I think that’s really important connecting with kids on a community level and then that carries over onto the court for Albert in this case,” DeVore said. “It just gives them more of a connection with our kids and an understanding of where they’re from and their background and all that stuff.”

Rodriguez and the rest of the 2001-02 Marauders were one of the top 4A teams in the state, back when 4A was the second highest level. They were ranked in the top 12 most of the season and won 20 games.

Rodriguez said his staff isn’t looking to change that much from last season, that they’ll develop our strategies based off of their personnel. He said they have good players returning to the varsity and some impressive young players.

“I’m really proud of the commitment from our underclassmen this summer, they’ve been really impressive so we’re looking bright,” Rodriguez said.

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