Marcos de Niza HS hires football coaching legend Moro

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                </div>  Two years ago, it was difficult to understand why Paul Moro decided to leave the football program he had run for 30 years at Blue Ridge High School to take […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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Two years ago, it was difficult to understand why Paul Moro decided to leave the football program he had run for 30 years at Blue Ridge High School to take over a program on the decline in Florence.

But no one is questioning his move from Poston Butte High School, which went win-less last season, to his new head-coaching position at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe.  Moro wasted no time in jettisoning from the Division II program, resigning just a couple of days after the 2015 season wrapped up and its 0-10 record went into the books.

Moro, who won 13 state championships at Blue Ridge, is one of only seven Arizona high school football coaches to win 300 games.  And he needs just seven more wins to surpass Vern Friedli’s 331 to become the all-time winningest prep coach in the state.

Now in his mid-60’s, Moro no doubt is looking ahead to the day when we wants to retire from the sidelines.  Those next seven wins will be much easier to come by at Marcos, where he is inheriting a team that went 12-2 last season and played for the D-II state championship.

At Poston Butte, he was dealt a hand last season that found him facing a schedule that included an extremely challenging gauntlet of top D-I schools and a season plagued by injuries to an already-inexperienced group of players.  His first season in Florence he posted a 7-4 record.

But there was also the constant pressure of high expectations and long hours that come with any rebuilding project. It meant time away from his family, which was still dealing with the suicide death of his son, Alex, over the summer.

The only challenge at his new job in Tempe will be taking a good program and making it even greater, something at which he excels after turning the Blue Ridge program into one of the best in the state – at any level.  Marcos hasn’t had a losing season in 10 years and is a regular playoff contender.

Moro’s record at the tiny Blue Ridge school of about 800 students in the equally tiny community of Lakeside in the White Mountains was 319 wins against just 52 losses – the stuff of legend.  The Yellow Jackets ruled small-school football during his tenure, making it to 16 championship games and winning 13 of those.

He will be set up for success at Marcos de Niza, which has an experienced quarterback returning for his senior year and a core of returning starters.  Nazareth (“Naz”) Greer threw for 3,320 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, directing an offense that averaged 380 yards a game.

No telling what a coach like Moro will be able to do with that kind of talent.