As the program continues to grow, Mingus Union head girls basketball coach Frank Nevarez resigned.
Nevarez, a lead pastor at Emmanuel Fellowship C3 Church in Cottonwood, has become too busy to pull double duty.
“My full time job was beginning to demand a lot of my time and so I tried to do a couple of things a couple of months ago to place people in certain positions to see if they could free me up to continue coaching because I love coaching, but it just wasn’t working out,” Nevarez said. “There is some good things that are happening at work that really are demanding my time.”
Nevarez led the Marauders for two seasons.
Emmanuel Fellowship is expanding so it is an exciting time for Nevarez.
“The girls were implementing certain home groups, men’s, women’s groups, you know, your basic groups that every church has and we just started making some changes and they’re growing and so I just need to get more involved,” Nevarez said.
Mingus Union went 6-20 in 2015-16, then 7-12 in Nevarez’s first season and then 9-18 last year, just missing out on the postseason.
Nevarez said his tenure at Mingus Union was sometimes frustrating but that it was exciting to see the progress.
“It was very, very exciting, very fulfilling and sometimes frustrating,” Nevarez said. “When I took over a couple years ago, this would have been my third year, but a couple years ago, really we started from scratch. I remember the first open gym I had a couple years ago we didn’t have very many young ladies show up. This summer we’re having 18, 20 girls showing up, which is a big change from when we started. We had a traveling team this year, we had some summer league games in Sedona, in Flagstaff, so we’ve done a lot of good things and I think the overall program is headed in the right direction.”
Nevarez said he expects the Marauders to continue improving.
“I think what really helped out the program a lot was last year bringing in a couple coaches that really had the desire to work with the girls, work with them offseason, make sure that the fundamentals were there, help build some basketball IQ,” Nevarez said. “This past summer we also had a basketball camp with the girls basketball coach from Arizona Western, he came down and we had a great camp So we’ve done a lot with the girls and I think in the future it is gonna pay off.”
Former Mountain View Prep girls basketball head coach Paul Ventura will take the reigns. Ventura led MVP to the Verde Valley Small Schools championship in 2017-18.
Nevarez said Ventura had talked to him about coaching at MUHS but they didn’t have an opening so he asked him to volunteer with the varsity. Over the summer he coached in open gyms and traveled to Sedona and Flagstaff.
“So when I decided to step down, I thought that the next coach should be him but he had to go through the process at the school, which he did, and he was just offered the job,” Nevarez said.