LAKESIDE — The Blue Ridge Unified School District officially welcomed back one of its native sons at its school board’s monthly meeting in December.
Blue Ridge announced the hiring of Jeremy Hathcock, currently the head football coach at 6A Mesa Desert Ridge, as coach, teacher and athletic director at the high school, beginning next academic year.
Hancock will be taking over for longtime Blue Ridge coach and athletic director Robert London, who is retiring after this year.
“With the retirement of Bob London as Blue Ridge’s head football coach, we felt the urgency to identify his successor,” Blue Ridge Unified Schools Superintendent Mike Wright said in a press release. “We are forever indebted to Bob for his 30 years of exceptional service as a coach, teacher, and athletic director.”
“Turning to the next chapter, it’s with great pleasure Blue Ridge announces the hire of Jeremy Hathcock as its head football coach, beginning in 2021,” Wright said.
Hathcock, an All-American both in high school and collegiately, has led his teams to playoff seasons in 17 of his 18 years as a head coach. He is credited with turning two losing programs into elite programs in the state.
Hathcock was a record-setting (for points in a career) running back for head coach Paul Moro at Blue Ridge from 1988-90, and he led the Yellowjackets to back to back state championships his final two years there.
Hathcock who has a record of 154 wins and 86 losses, has served as head football coach at Desert Ridge, which is in the Gilbert Public School District, since 2006. There he served as coordinator of the Jaguars’ offense. Desert Ridge went to at least the semifinal round of the playoffs for five out of six consecutive 10-plus-win seasons under Hathcock. His Jaguars posted 11 straight winning seasons and beat two teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation (Chandler in 2015 and Phoenix Mountain Pointe in 2017).
After a few years working as an assistant and five years of self employment, he began his head coaching career at Show Low High, from 2002 to 2005. He led the Cougars to and undefeated season and to the 3A state championship in 2003. He has been named coach of the year at the state and regional level during eight seasons between 2003 and 2017.
“Coach Hathcock brings almost two decades of successful head coaching experience, 15 years spent at the 6A level . . . and he is one of Arizona’s preeminent high school football coaches,” Wright said.
“We are very fortunate to land a coach with such an outstanding resume of success and someone with the Blue Ridge bloodline,” Wright said. “We are confident Jeremy will also do an exceptional job in his other roles as Athletic Director and Dean of Students. Welcome home, Jeremy!”