Norris Vaughan, who led Phoenix Mountain Pointe through its greatest football era, has resigned as head coach.
Mountain Pointe Principal Bruce Kipper said he was informed Wednesday morning by Vaughan that he and his wife are returning to Georgia to be closer to family.
“As of now, he has no plans to coach, but he has a lot of years left in him,” Kipper said. “I want to thank Coach Vaughan for nine great years. Not only has he built a championship caliber football program, but he has also helped transform our school culture. He has had a tremendous impact on all of us. As far as I am concerned, he will always be a member of the Pride.”
In eight of his nine seasons leading the Pride, Vaughan guided Mountain Pointe to no worse than the semifinals in the state’s biggest division, reaching the final game three times, and going 14-0, capturing the school’s only state football championship in 2013, when it finished ranked among the top five teams in the country.
In Vaughan’s last six years, Mountain Pointe had one of the state’s best runs, going 71-10 and reaching the final three times.
Vaughan, 70, moved from Georgia in 2004, after 20 years as a high school coach, believing he was heading into retirement, playing in pro-am golf tournaments.
But after he helped out as an assistant football coach at a school in the Valley, Vaughan took the Wickenburg job in 2005. He lost only five games in four seasons, compiling 47 wins, playing at the 3A level.
Vaughan said he and his wife are moving to an area north of Atlanta.
“I’m not going to use the ‘R’ word,” Vaughan said. “I’m not retiring. I’m in conversations with other schools in Georgia. I’m still a young man.”
Vaughan leaves Mountain Pointe well-stocked. Although the defense will need some rebuilding, Mountain Pointe returns nine starters on offense from a team that lost to Gilbert Perry in the 6A semifinals.
Mountain Pointe is the third major high school football coaching job in the Valley that has opened since the end of the season. Scooter Molander resigned at Phoenix Brophy Prep and Dick Banisziewski served only the one season as interim coach at Chandler Hamilton.
Norris Vaughan era at Mountain Pointe
2017: 10-3, lost to Gilbert Perry in semifinals
2016: 13-1, lost to Chandler in final
2015: 12-1, lost to Peoria Centennial in semifinals
2014: 10-3, lost to Chandler in semifinals
2013: 14-0, beat Chandler Hamilton in final
2012: 12-2, lost to Hamilton in final
2011: 6-5, lost to Phoenix Brophy Prep in first round
2010: 10-3, lost to Hamilton in semifinals
2009: 12-1, lost to Mesa in semifinal