CSHS new head football coach recommendation goes to CCUSD Board, Tuesday evening, April 12

“Insider” selection process is a disappointment to this writer

CSHS – I sincerely hope the gentleman to be recommended by Principal Steve Bebee as the new head coach of Falcon Football will become the most successful in Cactus Shadows’ gridiron history. Bebee’s “referral,” resulting from the first completed selection process ever for a new head football coach (the 2003 bizarre details of one Ricky Watts, former Chicago Bear, will appear in a future issue), goes before the CCUSD Board, Tuesday evening, April 12.

From the ten-seasons perspective of my reporting Falcon Football for Sonoran News, the “insider” selection process detailed herein is an unexpected disappointment. Here are the details of that selection process, as I understand them from Principal Bebee and Athletic Director Rick Swearengin:

1.  At Principal Bebee’s direction, Athletic Director Swearengin formed a seven-member Selection Committee comprised of:

(a) the athletic director, as its logical chairman;
(b) one CSHS “administrative assistant”;
(c) four CSHS faculty members, two of whom are varsity head coaches; and two, on-campus activity (clubs) sponsors; and
(d) one parent from Principal Bebee’s Site Council, a principal’s advisory group.

2.  Athletic Director Swearengin received 56 bona fide applications. That is, most certainly, an impressive number, indicative of the increased visibility of Cactus Shadows Football achieved during the seven years’ tenure of (now former) Head Coach Chad De-Grenier and the impressive staff he personally recruited to the program. Jack DeGrenier (“Coach D.’s” father), Chris Frederiksen, Matt Bradshaw, Jerry Boat and Jake VanDerStad, all following Coach DeGrenier to (Mesa) Mountain View, will be difficult for any new head coach to replace. I wish them all the best, taking this opportunity to express my genuine appreciation for their cooperation and support. Special thanks to “The Bear” (Coach Bradshaw) and “Chreese” (Coach Frederiksen).

Swearengin, by this Wednesday, will have “paper screened” (his term) the applicants down to “five or six” candidates, who then will be interviewed by the Committee, Wednesday, April 6 and Thursday, April 7. Director Swearengin advised me these that these “interviewees” (my term) will be given tours of the of the CSHS campus by varsity football players. Will these football “ambassadors” have the opportunity to input their impressions to the “A.D.” and/or Committee members? I lacked the journalistic gumption to ask (or perhaps didn’t want to embarrass Director Swearengin).

3.  From the Committee’s interviews, two nominations will be sent on to Principal Bebee, who will meet with the two finalists on Friday, April 8. He told me his primary focus will be not only upon their football coaching qualifications, but also his evaluation of their potential to be positively assimilated into the CSHS faculty. Sorry, Principal Bebee: Were I a member of the Selection Committee, I’d be looking to send you two experienced, hard-nosed finalists who are more concerned about winning football games than any popularity contest among CSHS faculty members.

4.  From the two gentlemen submitted by the Committee, Principal Bebee will make his choice, forwarding his recommendation to the CCUSD Board for consideration at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, April 12.

I don’t envy the parent chosen to serve from Principal Bebee’s Site Council. Theirs will be the only objective, “outside” voice among the seven Committee members. Why no representation from Boosters? The Men’s Athletic Club? Why no leader from Cave Creek Football, the Falcons’ most important talent pipeline? Why no parent of a rising Football senior? Why not one likely starter from the team itself? Sorry, Messrs. Bebee and Swearengin: I just don’t understand why you opted for an “inside job.” After-the-fact, Sonoran News will gladly give you “equal time” on these pages.

I respectfully offer that this critically-important coaching selection deserved better than an all-CSHS (with one parent exception) panel. I want to know the opinions of my readers. I invite you to contact me at 480-488-2021, extension 27. I’ll make every effort to return all calls.