By Greg Macafee AFN Sports Editor | January 23, 2018
The Pride have found the new leader of their pack.
Tempe Union High School District officials announced Tuesday they would recommend that the governing board approve Rich Wellbrock as the new head football coach at Mountain Pointe High School.
“We are excited to welcome Coach Wellbrock to Mountain Pointe High School,” Principal Bruce Kipper said in a release. “His wealth of experience, success at the state level, and working in diverse school settings tells us he is the right guy for our school community.”
The next governing board meeting is Feb. 7 and an agenda has not yet been set, so it is unclear if formal action on the recommendation will occur then.
Wellbrock has been around the Arizona high school football scene for several years, with an overall coaching record of 93-48. He has coached at Tolleson, Desert Edge and most recently, Basha high schools. He only spent one year at Basha, compiling a 2-8 record in the 2017 season.
Before last season, Wellbrock headed the Desert Edge football program from 2010-2016 amassing a 75-14 record, including a state championship in 2015, when the Scorpions defeated No. 1-seeded Paradise Valley in the Division III state championship, 29-27.
In 2013, Desert Edge also set a state record for team passing yards in a season, but also fell to Queen Creek in the 2012 Division III state championship.
During Wellbrock’s state championship run, Desert Edge’s running game was phenomenal.
It set a new state record for team rushing by running for 5,046 yards and 69 touchdowns on 654 carries. Desert Edge also had four different rushers over 500 yards and two over 1,000 yards.
Behind Jakim McKinney and Gary Bragg, the Pride rushed for 3,801 and 45 touchdowns this past season. Wellbrock will see the return of a strong starting running back in McKinney, who led the Pride with 1334 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Wellbrock will have big shoes to fill at Mountain Pointe, as he’ll be taking over for longtime head coach Norris Vaughan, who retired to move back to Georgia to be closer to his family. The Pride also captured a state championship in 2014 as a part of an undefeated season.
Mountain Pointe is coming off a 10-3 season, and it fell to Brock Purdy and the Perry Pumas in the 6A state semi-finals.