After opening up 0-2, now Wickenburg has won 2 in a row. After doing some research, I came to the conclusion that the reason they have changed their season around is by using a 60 year old coach and having him commute 50+ miles each way per day.
"The reason I didn't like to throw on first and ten, was because I hated second and ten." - The Legendary Ray Smith.
Mohave and River Valley are not teams to be bragging about beating. Wick only has two more legit teams this season, possibly 3 in Parker, EF, and Chino, but I have real doubts about EF.
It is a horrible schedule filled with weak opponents. If going 8-2 and losing in the first round is considered a successful season, Wick has a real chance. That would mean at least a region title. Right now, Chino has the inside track on the region but has to play Wick on the road. I think the Wickenburg season comes down to that game.
Real, the guy does not have the energy or time to do what is required. He is now running for an elementary school baord seat in glendale. Oh that won't take him away from wickenburg football. Won't last 2 years
Sorry guys, I am only kidding around. I have always been a Wickenburg supporter and fan, but I do root for River Valley when they play them. My point is that I always support the coaches unless they prove to be unethical abusive types, but other wise, I support whoever is coach, because he is the best you have when you have them, and the players are the best he has at the same time.
"The reason I didn't like to throw on first and ten, was because I hated second and ten." - The Legendary Ray Smith.
Wow ... well-stated, Coach! It's great to see when someone keeps the proper perspective for the game of football. It is part of the experience of life ... and not the most important experience! Learning from all of those around us is the most valuable experience ... and some of us are looking forward to learning plenty from Coach Gonzalo! And it's great when someone on these boards steps outside of his /her screen name and reveals his/her true identity.
Coach Parker, I'm not certain that anyone is stating that Coach G is a BAD coach, per se. I think it's more about the fact that Coach G is obviously now working on something (running for office) that is taking away from 100% concentration on the job at hand (coaching).
From my point of view, if I were a parent of a player at Wickenburg, I'd be upset that the HC is doing this because that means he's not devoting his energies toward what's important to ME as the parent, and that's the improvement and coaching of my kid.
Again, I'm not slamming Coach G's coaching methods or anything, but I think maccat1 and 93Wrangler are absolutely correct in questioning Coach G's timing for running for office NOW while in his first year as HC at Wick.
1. Did Coach Gonzalo let his staff and players know that he was running for school board? A. The answer to that is no because no one I talked to was aware of it until I started asking questions. The Wickenburg Sun was not aware of it. Though apparently it was public knowledge that the Arizona Republic knew about before the town newspaper publisher did in Wickenburg.
2. When did Coach Gonzalo begin the process of gathering signatures? Was it over the summer? Recently? When did he decide he wanted to do this?
3. Did Coach Gonzalo in any way use his office, staff, or equipment at Wickenburg High School to engage in a public campaign?
4. Isn't the election concurrent with football season? Does Coach Gonzalo intend to run for office while in the middle of football season?
5. Did Coach Gonzalo make the administration at Wickenburg High School aware of his intentions before or after he was given the job as head football coach?
See, regardless of whether you are a good person or not, you have a job. His job is to prepare kids and win ballgames in Wickenburg. Apparently his job in Wickenburg was not sufficient in and of itself so while doing his current job, he began seeking another job. He apparently did not tell his peers, and ultimately, the Town of Wickenburg, the WUSD, and the taxpayers are his boss and he did not tell them either.
And now, in the minds of many people, after the Santa Cruz loss, he is not doing particularly well at his job. Which calls into question what his priorities are. So my question is why run for school board not even a month into your new job?
I do lots of other things. I run a side business. I write articles. I cause chaos cause that is who I am. But in the end, I do my day job well because it pays the bills. When causing havoc in Wickenburg interferes with my day job, my employer can fire me. I simply point out that Coach Gonzalo is not doing well as his job as Coach of WHS as evident by a loss to Santa Cruz at home and the poor play of his team starting 0-2. I add to that that I have a problem with a coach who is simultaneously running political campaigns.
My name is Justin Blackburn. It is pretty easy to figure out. Everyone knows it most places I post. If Bobby Gonzalo has lots of goals in life, good for him. But his A Number One goal right now should be preparing our kids and teaching our coaches. Most of the coaches and parents won't publicly complain, but several have privately complained to me personally about his lack of attentiveness to the program.
But what do I know? I mean, golly, the Wickenburg Sun didn't even know a convicted felon was coaching the kids and had not been background checked until I told them. No one in the state knew of the Show Low recruiting violations and AIA investigation until I covered that on the radio and reported it last week. Nah, I don't know anything.
So in the spirit of disclosure and admiration, let's all start posting our real names Statseeker. If you are going to play cheerleader on here, post who you are. I never hide who I am.
Norris Vaughan also did an outstanding job in Wickenburg. You know, good coaches that love the kids are easy to find. Hard working coaches with good hearts and great character. Some of them know x's and o's, but by and large it is a profession full of competent, dedicated men who want the best for our kids.
So should I applaud Coach Gonzalo for doing his job? Because everything you described are what I expect from every single coach we would have hired.
I did expect one more thing though--
That Coach Gonzalo would focus on the task at hand, namely rebuilding the tradition at WHS, before he started campaigning for political office.
This is an indication that he does not intent to be part of the Wickenburg program long term and indicates in my mind a lack of dedication to a job that he accepted less than six months ago. When did he start thinking about being a school board member? Was this always his plan or does he randomly change his long term objectives willy nilly because it sounds exciting?
Worry about our kids on your team not a 13500 kid district in Glendale. Our team was 0-2 and our program went through hell the last year and you show our kids that they are not the only thing that matters right now. They need to see a different message.
"So parents, as you start to question all of this, just know one thing. Coach G will do everything within his power to help your child find success through the game of football. And that has nothing to do with wins or losses."
One last quick comment--it sounds like what Statseeker and you want is a role model for kids. A good guy who gives life advice.
We call that a guidance counselor. The job of a football coach, while being a role model is clearly a part, is not the same as that of the school guidance counselor. Funny, Tom McGoldrick actually WAS THE SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELOR.
Apparently, you are confusing the fact that parents expect the football coach to simultaneously win games and be a good leader and role model. I wouldn't trade one for the other, but I do expect both. If he is a good enough guy, we just say "Wickenburg football is not about winning and losing but how we play the game!" Well, it is about winning and losing. And if you are going to lose, there should never be a question about your priorities, and sorry, but Bobby Gonzalo opened this can of worms by running for school board and simultaneously losing his first two home games.
If you want a job where there are no expectations for wins and losses, don't take a HC position on a varsity team. Stick around and be a good guy as an assistant. If you want to be on the school board in Glendale, then keep your job as an assistant at Westview.
Ha, this is a rather dramatic thread. Not sure if I should get into it as I have bias all over the place. I am a Wick alum and want only the best for the Wrangler football program. I am certainly familiar with the game of football and understand the time constraints it involves, even when knowledge of the game is rather expansive, much as I assume are the attributes for Coach Gonzalo. I know 93Wrangler and, as much as we have had a history of rather colorful debates, he and I are on the same page concerning many things football. AZSports is truly a voice of experience and reason on these boards, which is something I thought I would never say about some blue and gold supporter from just off the river in a town we Arizonans continue to try and give to California ;). Hell, I even know Westof17 as he and I had to endure 4 days a week, 3 hours a day, of some rather intensive teacher prep classes at NAU together back in the day (Hey Coach, glad to see your success over the past decade and all the best to you in your future...you made that class a helluva lot easier being able to talk shop about football all morning)!
So I can only give my own personal opinion which will probably end up being rather wishy-washy and ultimately useless. I wouldn't do it myself. Too long of a commute. And by that, I mean that all that time on the road takes me away from my family and it takes me away from my program, in that order. Unacceptable in my mind. However, gas alone most likely takes up over half the salary going to Gonzalo, so obviously this isn't a move he made based on greed. It is unfortunate no job that "paid the bils" could be found for him as I would recommend Wick as a place to raise your kids and grow old. Great community, great football atmosphere, great place to grow up. Now I can only say this for all Wick coaches AFTER 1974, but there has never been a Wick coach (or any HS coach anywhere) that was truly loved by all in the last 36 years in the 'Burg. All coaches have flaws...of course, I won't get into that here, but every coach has his agenda, his perspective and his outlook which may not coincide with what everyone watching expects. As with any public position, you smile, shake hands, and promise to do what is best for the kids. If, in the end, there are those that do not believe what you promised, you move on. No hard feelings (hopefully). I trust Coach Parker...the man's success, integrity, and track record alone at what was once an obscure westside school is enough for me to believe what he says. I know of Gonzalo's resume and you don't work in those places and not become well-versed in this game. I believe that Gonzalo will do right by our kids, never treat them incorrectly, and will be all about teaching high morals and standards that will help them to become solid productive citizens. I have seen amazing, intelligent, well-grounded young men come from programs where they went 1-9 their senior year...and I have seen some out and out a-holes that ended up in prison go 9-2 their senior year. Sorry, I wish I was the same idealistic youngster that worried about winning more than, well, anything else moral or otherwise back in the day, but I am not. Nor is Coach Gonzalo in my opinion. You want a coach there 24-7, who watches after the kids, leads them from right and wrong, works all hours of the night and still does right by his family? Well, pay him like a website administrator, treat him like an unquestionable saint, and pay for him to have a 4 bedroom house and nice spread right next to Wickenburg stadium...aww, heck, you don't even have to build on the empty land south of the field, just set he and his family up at Los Cab and I GUARANTEE...he will line your trophy cases with gold footballs. But until that day comes, follow the four rules of being involved in high school sports:
1. Players play 2. Parents cheer 3. Coaches coach 4. That's it
I am trying so hard not to say that I want the guy gone because I don't. I have never said it. I want Coach Gonzalo to be successful. Not for him personally, but for the kids and for the school. For our civic pride because it is an important position and an important job.
I believe he is making a mistake and that his actions invite exactly the kind of criticism I am apparently heaping on him. It is unprecedented to campaign for political office while in the midst of a demanding football season. You do not win without putting in an extraordinary effort. Maybe coaching is an easy part time job, in which case any idiot with a whistle and clipboard can do it.
I went to high school with an absolutely outstanding coach who lives in Glendale and I asked personally to apply for the Wick job. He had grown up there, was a coaches son during the state championship run in 77, had deep ties, was extremely respected, and I had been in most of my classes throughout school with him. In short, he was as perfect of a candidate as we could find. He turned it down because of the time commitment and the pay. He has a family and would take a huge step back from his current job and couldn't justify putting his family through it. I mean I had boosters calling him asking him to take the job. It was actually kind of embarrassing because I had a coach's man crush on him and felt kinda silly asking a guy that had always been my friendly rival, almost begging, him to help revive the program.
So let's not kid ourselves into thinking the logistics are great and the situation is perfect.
I don't believe Coach Gonzalo will last at Wickenburg. I am trying to understand the motivation to be a Head Coach and how it can coexist with the desire to do the other things that you describe that includes running a school district. I assume that he wanted to try his hand as the main man and the job at Wick was open and was a good enough fit to give a shot at. But it is clear that unless he lives in Wickenburg, the demands of the position will lead to either his burning out or his not committing enough time to the job to be ultimately successful. The cracks are showing and they are logistical cracks of the difficult situation, not character flaws with Bobby Gonzalo.
Again, not even a month into your first season as a head coach is not the time to run a political campaign. Not when your team is struggling and you are already commuting 100 miles round trip. It was a very bad decision and my complaints about the glaring problems with Wick's quality of play were there before this story came out. He started 0-2 and you compound that perceived lack of focus with genuine facts that also point to a lack of focus--well, it undermines what you are doing.
If you are friends with Coach Gonzalo, I would mention that perceptions are powerful things. His actions and his performance created these perceptions about the job he is doing as head coach. If I feel this way, I am certain many other folks in town do. Many parents do. Kids do. And in the end, this is his failing. I would ask him why he ran for school board before he had his team squared away and playing decent ball.
And BTW, the election is smack dab between Week 10 and the first week of the playoffs. Does he plan to campaign at all? Or just put up a couple signs and hope that a massive district elects him just for the heck of it when there are 4 candidates for 2 spots? If he doesn't think he needs to put in the time and effort to campaign, I am not sure I would want him as a School Board member. Kind of a catch 22.
93Wrangler, Who is this coach who is the son of Coach Moran of the 1977 Wrangler team that took it all? I remember how then Class B Wickenburg beat Class AA Kingman 30-0 at Wickenburg on that dismal Friday Night! I recall how the Arizona Republic predictions said: Kingman at WICKENBURG and I said, "No Way!" and boy was I wrong!
"The reason I didn't like to throw on first and ten, was because I hated second and ten." - The Legendary Ray Smith.
Coach, I hope you see the connection between not being successful on the football field and not putting in enough time preparing. I agree that serving on the school board is not the most time consuming thing in the entire world.
We are not talking about him serving on the school board. We are talking about there being 4 candidates for 2 seats and a six week span before the election. The election is between the final game of the regular season and the first playoff game. Does he intend to campaign in the meantime? Figuring in 6 days a week with a 3 hour round trip commute, he is already spending 18 hours just driving. Then you add in his coaching duties. All his coaching duties take place in the evening. When does he campaign?
My contention three weeks ago was that his team was unprepared. His assistants were not getting the job done. There is a disconnect. Maybe they beat Chino this week and win the region and go 8-2. At some point, distractions during the season come back to haunt you.
Why is he already looking for another job when he just started at Wickenburg? Coaching Wickenburg is a hobby, at least it pays like a hobby. So how committed is he to building the program that only a month into his first season, he feels he has the extra time to run a campaign for School Board when his team started 0-2 and looked horrible doing it?
It is about commitment. At least give us a solid year of undivided attention before you start trying to figure out what else you want to do with your time.
If his team was 4-0 and looked prepared and organized, then yeah, sure, maybe it is less of an issue. But the problem here is that his team is not and the results showed with a loss to Santa Cruz. They scored on a Pick-6 and an 80 YD TD Run. Take away two huge plays and this team managed 7 points the first two games.
The program needs TLC. Everyone I talk to that is connected has the same complaints. Not enough dedication. Not enough preparation. Not enough attention. And then you find a major distraction and he plans to run an election campaign his first season on the job? Come on coach. I am all for coaches having lives outside of football, but at least have your team square first. Or don't take the job if you have more pressing priorities.
You know, there are other candidates that can coach a team. And there are other people that can run a school board. It is a bit narcissistic to think that he brings something so special that he needs to spread himself out between these two things when he hasn't even proven he can be a successful head coach.
I think the Jeffers kid is a pretty talented back. You said yourself after watching the Empire scrimmage that Rockhill is a stud. That is an exceptionally good backfield all things considered. I agree that Wick is on a down cycle, but this year there is actually solid talent, it is next year that the cupboard is bare. Rockhill is a kid that was on pace to finish top 5 in the state in Rushing last year and this year Jeffers is 3rd in the state (3A of course).
Santa Cruz is a mediocre to bad football team. In two weeks after Santa Cruz loses to Payson and Florence, they will be 1-5. Their one win against Wickenburg. I predict Santa Cruz finishes 2-8 with losses to FLO, PAY, SAF, EMP, and COOL over the next five weeks. They will beat Globe. OK, maybe we say they are competitive with Coolidge and Safford and finish 4-6. That is best case. That was a home loss. A game in which you put up 260 yards of total offense and 80 of it was on one play. If you want to say that it is a down talent year, it is not a down year where Wickenburg should ever lose to Santa Cruz.
So we are left to figure out why. I know you want to blame talent or at least put some emphasis on it. I think it was lack of game planning, lack of preparation, and lack of execution. Same with Fountain Hills. They just were not ready, especially offensively. It is a poor offensive scheme and is not blocked well. And these are home losses.
A good coach consistently wins games he is not supposed to. But you don't do that without superior effort and superior execution. You don't get superior execution and effort without practice, planning, preparation, and great coaching... top to bottom... and assistants that are on the same page and all rowing together.
So Coach, what is the solution? You know going into it that you do not have a lot of talent coming back. You lose your top two running backs plus plenty of other kids. Here is my solution:
1. Rebuild the weight and strength training program. Where is the participation from the underclassmen and the leadership this offseason? This is two straight years of having no coach from January until June. That is a lot of lost time to make up. And the work ethic and culture of offseason work is gone. The same people are in Wickenburg this offseason as were there the last two where participation plummeted. If the HC wants this fixed, it starts now.
2. Rebuild the Fan Base and Alumni relationships. Start building a tradition. You do that by winning. Especially winning home games.
3. Get kids out. You only accomplish this by being on campus year round, knowing the kids, and being part of the community. That is why most coaches are also teachers and it is almost unheard of to have a coach that not only does not live in the community but also does not teach at a school there.
4. Fundraise. Where did the money for the program go? Pags killed it last year and that is going to take a lot of effort.
5. Hire and recruit quality assistants. The new OC is not ready. He does not understand many of the finer points of offense and Gonzalo has already taken over a bunch of his duties. You need a better blocking scheme and an OC and OL coaches that can implement it. This I formation / spread combination looks uncoordinated and disjointed. Get a real offense. HS ball is not college ball and the OC is young and does not appear to understand the HS game.
6. Prepare your assistants with offseason time, summer time, and coaching clinics. Mold them into your guys. They do not know anything until you teach them, even if they have done it 20 years. They need to know your way and your plan.
7. Improve 7 on 7 participation and implement a consistent offense. Use the time to mold the kids. It didn't happen this year.
Gonzalo is starting from scratch. Notice how BUILDING A PROGRAM is required. The Vaughan days are long gone. This is a mediocre program that is on the downhill slide. You don't build a program without some serious work. Given how bad things are projected to get, I would be schmoozing every evening and working in the weightroom the rest of the time. Vaughan coached weight training which really helped. There are certain things that need to happen and Gonzalo is at a huge disadvantage because he is not a teacher in Wick AND DOESN'T LIVE THERE. Maybe one or the other would be doable. But when you add those two and then you have him commuting a long distance and distracted by other life pursuits...
The problem is going to get worse, not better. I am speaking out now because next year, Wick won't be worth watching the talent drops so much. And lack of weightroom work will ensure it drops even further.
Yeah, it was in part a lack of available teaching positions for certain, but they had a candidate from Tonopah and also internal candidate JV Coach that both already had teaching positions or were willing to drive. It is not just the football program but the entire district that has major issues. They built a school way down south called Festival that is empty and eating up resources. Their enrollment continues to decline. There has been change at the top and other problems. We saw the issues that came to light over Pagliaro last year.
It is almost impossible for Gonzalo to fix everything right away. But Wick has more talent than they have show with their performance. I would say they are in the category of FH and Empire, maybe Snowflake or Winslow as seeds 5-10 if they had Vaughan coaching. Pay, BR, and SL are far better teams. Florence and RV are beatable. That puts Wick as a Qtr or Semifinalist and I think Wick would be 10-0 with Vaughan this regular season. That is a combination of the schedule and that FH is not that good. That was a game Wick should have won as well. They gave it away with lack of offense. Wick had a scoring chance but threw an INT and it was a poor play call. It was 3-0 with 5 min left in the game. But Wick only had 140 yds total offense.
I see great coaching and I get the luxury of watching nothing but top tier games at all levels all classifications. High School football is not worth watching unless it is well played and well coached. Wickenburg is so bad to watch that I am not sure I am going to see the Chino game. I have to but I am not sure it is worth $5 and an hour drive each way.
Problems happen when you lose winnable games. Then you come under a microscope. Wick plays BR right now and loses 42-0 and manages 100 yds of offense and I don't complain. If it is penalties and turnovers, yeah, that is a problem, but if it is sheer talent, then tip your hat. Fountain Hills is barely above average and Santa Cruz is bad. Imagine what a good football team would do to Wick. There is enough talent there to be a top 5 team and dominate the West. This year, probably won't happen.
I think we agree that Wickenburg should have beaten Santa Cruz and I think we agree that as far as the rest of the schedule, Parker and Chino are improved, but nothing special. Estrella is an absolute disappointment. So I think our only disagreement is whether Wickenburg would have or should have beaten Fountain Hills. The game was 3-0 with 5 minutes left, so I have to say that based on that fact, it was a very winnable game.
I watched Vaughan take a 2-8 Mt Pointe team to the state Semifinals and run the table in the regular season. He had Basha beat but the D let them drive and score. He is 15-2 in 5A ball. I think there WERE some very good coaches in 3A, but you cannot replace Hernandez, Vaughan, Hoyt, and even Anderson or Larson with guys like Pags and Mayo and think the competition is close to the same. Look at EF this season. Tell me that Early does not play a huge part in that disaster. His team is in the same boat Wickenburg is in. They just don't have tradition and alumni grumbling.
Lost in all of this is what happens when 3A changes over to the new much larger conference and includes a bunch of 4AII schools next season? You have got to have a top tier coach to be successful. I just have a much higher standard for a 60 year old experienced coach than a young guy. There should not be the learning curve. We hired a seasoned guy for a reason.
This is an odd year for me. It is the year of the underdogs. I find myself rooting for Florence and Round Valley believe it or not. The Empires. And in the West, Chino. Not out of spite, but because I just like the heck out of Coach David and he is due. He works hard and is consistent. It is a tough place to coach and he is not a great coach, but he is constantly learning and working at it. I am not rooting against Blue Ridge, I just want someone outside of the usual suspects to play well and surprise us. Something to make things exciting--besides the AIA making 3A exciting.