After a school year away, Verde Valley football coaching legend Bob Young will be coming back.
Young will become Sedona Red Rock’s head football coach. He coached at Mingus Union from 1986 to 1997 and then after a couple years at Mesa Westwood, coached at MUHS from 2000 to 2017.
He resigned and served as Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep’s defensive coordinator in 2018.
“It’s time to get back up north, it’s been a good year down here in Scottsdale but living in an apartment and being away from family was kinda tough,” Young said. “I’m ready to head back up north and try again up there.”
After frustrations with Mingus Union administration, Young is excited about the Sedona Red Rock leadership.
“They’ve got a new superintendent and a new athletic director and I’m real impressed with their vision and they really want to try to create a culture of excellence,” Young said. “They’ve struggled athletically and are really going to try to get that up to speed with everything else. So I was sold on those guys’ vision and I hadn’t even thought about Sedona as possible, I really hadn’t even thought about another job and then just out of the blue they asked me if I would be interested and I liked what they had to say.”
Young also coached baseball, boys basketball, girls basketball, softball and track and field at Mingus Union.
“I think it would be good for their program,” Mingus football head coach Robert Ortiz said. “He definitely has a name made for himself in the Verde Valley and I think it’s a huge hire. I know his whole family lives here in Cottonwood still, so that helps with being back around family a lot more than down in the Valley, but I think it’s a good get by their school. I think that’s a tough place to try to make a hire, the cost of living’s a little bit higher over there, so it’s not the most attractable job when it comes to up rooting a family or leaving a previous job and what not, just because of the cost of living alone, so to have somebody of his caliber that already lives here in the area, I think it’s a huge snag for their school.”
Young is also coaching NDP’s freshman baseball team this spring.
Next Wednesday he is set to meet the Sedona Red Rock players and coaches and plans on having a modified spring ball every Saturday in April and then after baseball every Friday and Saturday in May.
He’ll bring over four assistant coaches from his time at Mingus Union.
“I can tell you I’ve never been around a coach who works harder than Bob, so no one is going to out-work him,” Camp Verde head football coach Rick Walsworth said. “And he’s going to ask his players to work hard, too...in the weight room and on the field.”
Notre Dame Prep went 13-1 in 2018, losing only the state championship game.
“So very successful season, really enjoyable,” Young said. “It was a little different being an assistant coach but I think it was a good for me to recharge my batteries a little and I’m ready to be a head coach again.”
He said the season as an assistant will help him a lot.
The Saints lost all their defensive starters from 2017.
“I’ve been focusing on offense for about 20 years now, so it was nice to take a step back and see some different things and watch some different coaches, I got to see a lot of 5A teams this year and saw some different things and it’ll help me in the long run,” Young said. “So it was good, a good year for me, good experience.”
With Young taking over at Sedona Red Rock, all three local high schools will have a Young connection. Ortiz played for Young and Walsworth served as an assistant coach for Young at MUHS.
“Bob gave me a lot of room and responsibility to grow as a coach, by placing a lot of faith and trust in me,” Walsworth said. “I could never repay him for all I learned, and the experience I had coaching with Bob for 10 years. All the other opportunities I’ve gotten are largely because of that experience.”
Walsworth was an assistant coach at Mingus Union from 2003 to 2009 and then 2014 to 2016. Ortiz graduated from Mingus Union in 2009.
“He’s somebody that I’ve said before that I’ve looked up to, that he was a big reason why I even got into coaching and decided to chase what I thought was my dream in wanting to be a PE teacher and a coach and those types of things,” Ortiz said. “He had a big impact on me as a student athlete and he’s the reason why I chose to do what I wanted to do. So I think overall the type of impact he’s had on football here is huge because you guys who have in some way shape or form been associate by him or through him and have nor branched out to the surrounding areas to coach football a similar way to what he’s done.”
Young expects to teach sports performance classes, maybe leadership.
“The effort Bob invests into coaching makes him hate to lose more than any other coach I’ve ever been around, fierce competitor,” Walsworth said. “There’s a line in the movie Moneyball where Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) says, ‘And I hate losing, even more than I want to win. And there’s a difference.’ Every time I watch that movie, that line makes me think of Bob Young.”
Sedona Red Rock went 3-7 in 2018, 1-9 in 2017 and 2-8 in 2016.
Walsworth was the Sedona Red Rock head coach for four seasons, leading the Scorpions to the playoffs in 2012, their first appearance in a decade and two winning records. They were 2-9 his first season.
Although Sedona Red Rock is two conferences below Mingus Union and three smaller than Notre Dame Prep, he said when he got to Mingus Union it wasn’t much bigger than SRRHS. He said it’s just less kids, that it’s about culture and getting the athletes at school on to the football field and weight room.
“I know coach Walsworth had some good teams there and he’s gonna build something really good,” Young said. “I’m just hoping that the next three or four years Mingus, Camp Verde and Sedona can all be really strong in football, there’s no reason why we can’t, so I think Sedona you just got to get in and get the culture the way you want it, like I said you got to get those kids buying in the weight room and you go from there.”
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