Ewan, Joseph will be missed on sidelines
November 16, 2010 by Don Ketchum, AZPreps365
The football playoffs are moving full speed ahead, but changes for 2011 already are in the wind.
The most notable is the retirement of Chandler High coach Jim Ewan.
He has been in coaching for 40 years. He played at Phoenix St. Mary’s and coached at Eloy Santa Cruz, where he won a state championship in 1980, New Mexico Highlands, Mesa Community College, Gilbert, Glendale Mountain Ridge and Chandler.
Ewan was intense, yet easygoing at the same time. He was a friend to the media, always taking the time to talk and give us something to write. He understood that high school football is a collaborative effort between coaches and those who write about it.
On the field, there were good times and not as good. The Wolves struggled against rival Chandler Hamilton (who doesn’t?), but they were competitive with the rest of the world.
That is what should be stamped near the top of his career highlights. Some chat-room participants would label him a failure for not winning a title at Chandler. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ewan had a positive impact on thousands of players, teaching them about life beyond the field as well as on it.
To that, I say, well done, Jim. You will be missed.
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Unlike Ewan’s departure at Chandler, Tom Joseph’s adios at Mesa Mountain View was not voluntary.
It’s unfortunate that a guy gets fired just two years after his team finished 12-1. He also won a state title in 2002. Joseph deserved a better fate.
Some have said that the team was missing out on some good players because they didn’t want to play for Joseph. Why? The guy continues to coach the same way he did when he was hired about a decade or so ago. What is it that has changed?
What has changed is the dynamics of the game, or geography and growth, to be more specific. There are greener pastures to the south in Chandler and Gilbert, and those are the programs that will grow and get better.
Mountain View has had a strong, competitive program and will continue to do so – perhaps just not as competitive as it once was. If you would have put Joseph’s predecessors, the great Jesse Parker or Bernie Busken, in the same situation this year, I doubt the result would have been much different.
The same will be true of Joseph’s successor. Former Toros quarterback Joe Germaine? Perhaps, but if I were Joe, I think I might continue to take my chances at Queen Creek.
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The west Valley is not immune from coaching changes. Longtime Avondale Agua Fria coach Kelly Epley has stepped down, as has Randy Gross, who coached at his alma mater, Phoenix Trevor Browne.
These guys are too good to stay in the background for too long. Good luck to them and Joseph as they look to join other programs.
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And when you are talking about having an impact on the community, few can match the track record of Ben Arredondo.
He is a southeast Valley native, was a teacher and head football coach. I covered him at Mesa High School about 30 years ago, when he had dark hair instead of gray (sorry, Ben). He also was a Tempe Elementary District Governing Board member and was a longtime Tempe city councilman.
The Tempe Sports Complex, next to the Arizona Cardinals practice facility on Hardy Drive in south Tempe, recently was renamed the P. Ben Arredondo Sports Complex.
Arredondo, who comes from a family of community leaders, truly deserves this honor.