Longtime football assistant Tim Rutt is expected to become Gilbert's new football coach, according to three sources with knowledge of the situation.
Rutt didn't return phone messages seeking comment Thursday morning. Earlier this week, Gilbert athletic director Dan Haasch would not comment on candidates, but said the school will submit a name for approval to the Gilbert school district's governing board during its Feb. 12 board meeting.
According to two sources, Rutt was one of three finalists for the position, which opened when Leland Rodgers was fired after his only season at the helm. Rodgers' tenure ended with a 3-7 record and allegations of physical and verbal mistreatment of players.
Rutt spent the 2012 season as an assistant at Basha under coach Bernie Busken. Prior to 2012, he was an assistant in various positions at Hamilton for 12 years (1999-2011) under both former coach John Wrenn and current coach Steve Belles.
Prior to Hamilton, Rutt was a Gilbert assistant under former coach Dan Dunn. He played at Corona del Sol and later Mesa Community College under Dunn. He also spent time as an assistant at Corona and in Colorado.
One source also said Rutt would likely teach physical education at Gilbert if hired. One of Rutt's children, Brandon, is currently a junior linebacker at Basha, but a source said Brandon was likely to stay at Basha for his senior year.
If Rutt is approved, it would make Gilbert the second East Valley school to fill its football coaching vacancy, after Arcadia named former interim coach Lenny Abt as the school's permanent coach. Mesquite and Apache Junction are also moving closer to making respective hires.
--Kyle Odegard contributed to this report
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6576.