Family tradition: ASU tight ends coach Jason Mohns follows father’s footsteps as assistant
The Arizona State football program headed in a new direction under the leadership of head coach Kenny Dillingham.
Since his appointment on Nov. 27, the Valley native and graduate of both Chaparral High School in Scottsdale and ASU has made it paramount that this iteration of Sun Devil football will feature a heavy dose of local flavor.
Arizona State’s coaching staff now boasts three former Valley high school head coaches as assistants in Shaun Aguano (Chandler), Charlie Ragle (Chaparral) and Jason Mohns (Saguaro), who have combined for 14 state championships in the last 15 years.
Mohns spent the last 11 seasons in charge of the Scottsdale high school en route to seven state titles, including six in a row. He also graduated from ASU in 2004, joining his wife, dad (coach) and mom (cheerleader) as Sun Devil alumni.
45 years later… This opportunity means everything to my family!!! Thank you @KennyDillingham for giving me the chance to come HOME. It’s time to #ActivateTheValley 🔱 https://t.co/yobL1Wl1GO pic.twitter.com/QYSjQyw61q
— Jason Mohns 🔱 🏈 (@CoachMohns) December 19, 2022
“Jason Mohns is one of the elite high school coaches to have ever been on the sidelines in the state of Arizona,” Dillingham said in a press release. “College coaches, including myself, have long tuned in to what Jason has been doing here. That kind of success does not go unnoticed at a national level. Jason is a Sun Devil for Life and a Valley staple, and it’s about time we are able to have him join this program.”
So why did Mohns leave his head coaching gig in Scottsdale — where he had coached at Saguaro for the last 16 seasons — to become the tight ends coach in Tempe?
Simple: He had the unique opportunity to both progress in his career while simultaneously not having to move his family.
“You do what you can do at a certain level and then you want to try yourself at the next level to try to be the best,” he said Thursday. “That’s one of the things I’ve always prided myself on as being a competitor and I felt like I had kind of done everything that I wanted to do at Saguaro High School. … But then I just felt like if the right opportunity presented itself, I wanted it.
“I wanted to see if I could do it and be successful at the next level and that’s what it ultimately has come down to: I wasn’t going to put my family in a bad situation. I never wanted a prioritize my coaching career above my family — that’s always been No. 1. But to be able to take this step and have this challenge and do it at home and not have to uproot my family, it was just it was the right time in the right opportunity.”
Mohns coached the likes of Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy, former Cardinal and current Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk, as well as current Georgia defensive back Kylee Ringo and ASU linebacker Kyle Soelle.
He also coached four-star offensive lineman Bram Walden — the No. 2 overall recruit in the state and No. 10 OT in the country in 2021 — who announced he was transferring from Oregon to Arizona State on Monday.
Mohns has also served as a head coach in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
“I have for a long time been pretty involved in clinic speaking across the country and I’ve done a lot of stuff with that,” he said. “I think I’ve done a pretty good reputation of coaching. … So I’ve built some really good solid relationships across the country and I think that will pay dividends. But then also to be able to sit in front of players and say the only reason I’m where I am today is because I can coach — it’s not because I played in the NFL or I was roommates with somebody.
“No, I had to work my way to this point by coaching and developing players and I’m passionate about doing that. And I think I have some guys around the country playing on Sundays and playing on Saturdays that I was able to help develop that are having a lot of success. So I hope that I can lean on that and lean on the relationships that I’ve built over the years.”