It may have been more tense than expected, but offensive coordinator Shaun Aguano was chosen as the new Chandler football coach on Thursday.
When former coach Jim Ewan announced his plans to retire last March, he named Aguano his successor, but the school district instead opened up the process to all interested applicants.
Aguano said going through the interview stage was nerve-wracking, but he was happy it had to be done.
"I think the process has made me a better person because I had to be prepared," Aguano said. "It was not a given. I had to work very hard. It made me go back and research the things we needed to do better. If I was given the job I wouldn’t have done that."
Aguano reportedly beat out Show Low coach Randy Ricedorff for the position. Principal Terry Williams said Aguano met with school superintendent Camille Casteel on Thursday morning and was offered the position.
"Shaun brings a lot to the table," Williams said. "I think he'll be carrying on the tradition at Chandler."
Chandler went 7-4 last season and lost in the first round of the 5A-I state tournament.
Aguano said he will likely make some staff changes, although that won't be determined for a few days.
It is his first head coaching job after being with Ewan at Chandler for the past 10 seasons. He was offensive coordinator for the past six, and wide receivers' coach for the four years prior.
"I think a lot of coaches' goals are to be a 5A-I coach at an ideal program," Aguano said. "I'm very fortunate and lucky, too."
Chandler won't have star quarterback Brett Hundley under center next season, but the Wolves do bring back some decent talent. When Aguano and Ewan got to Chandler, the program was down. In the last few years it has been a legitimate contender, but hasn't yet won a state title.
"I think Jim has built a great foundation, and I want to enhance it," Aguano said.