Marcos de Niza football coach Roy Lopez has resigned his coaching and teaching position, the school's principal Frank Mirizio announced to faculty and staff via email late Thursday.
Lopez was to meet with his players Friday to inform them of his departure. Lopez was placed on indefinite administrative leave on the eve of the playoffs in early November and was not allowed to coach the team's two playoff games. School and district officials did not comment on why Lopez was on leave. The matter is still being referred to district spokesperson Linda Littell.
Lopez has coached football at Marcos de Niza since 1996, including varsity football head coach since 2005. In a nine-year span Marcos de Niza posted a 78-34 record, reaching the playoffs eight times. The Padres best season was 2009 when they won 12 games and lost in the 5A-II (D-II) final to Chaparral. Marcos de Niza won at least nine games six times between 2005 and 2013.
To the south and west, Tempe neighbor Corona del Sol has recommended former player Cory Nenaber to the district to succeed Tom Joseph and Tim Kelly as coach for next season. The Maricopa Monitor first reported that Nenaber would be the new coach at Corona on Wednesday. Corona del Sol athletic director Dan Nero confirmed Nenaber as the Aztes' choice. Joseph was let go at midseason, and Kelly, a longtime assistant, took over as interim coach the rest of the way.
Nenaber played football and baseball at Corona del Sol in the mid-1990s and is a 1997 graduate. He assisted in coaching football and baseball at Corona after college graduation. Neneaber rserved as head JV football coach at Corona and later as offensive coordinator for the varsity under Gary Venturo. Nenaber has been the head football coach at Maricopa the past four years (posting a 19-22 record) and has also served as athletic directory at Maricopa for a couple years.
“When the board gives its approval after the new year, he'll be the guy,'” Nero said. “He's a good guy. A Corona guy. We're glad to have him back. He was selected for the job over several other top quality Corona coaches that applied.”