Desert Mountain is looking and already advertising for a new softball coach for the first time in nearly two decades. Rick Sharp, who has guided the program since the school opened in the mid-1990s, was fired on Friday.
“I was shocked, dumb-founded,” Sharp said. “Eighteen years of meets or exceeds on evaluations and then one evaluation where there are none. It was all negative. I'd rather them just say to me we want to go in a different direction, and leave it at that…
“I'm not done. I want to continue coaching.”
Sharp's teams consistently have qualified for postseason and this year was no exception even with a 15-17 overall record. Desert Mountain has made the playoffs 11 years in a row and 16 of its 18 varsity seasons. Twenty-win seasons have been more common. Desert Mountain lost in the first-round of the Division I playoffs to No. 9 Xavier, 6-5. Xavier went on to finish in the the top six.
Sharp has been heavily involved, in fact the main force behind, putting together one of the top invitationals in the state for the past 17 years — the Desert Mountain Invitational. Desert Mountain's tournament has grown and brought together many of the top teams in the state's top divisions for five days of action in mid-March. The top three teams in Division I and Division II at state this year were participants. It's not the first time that's happened.