02/21 - Chaparral assistant Zupke to take vacant Pinnacle post - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

02/21 - Chaparral assistant Zupke to take vacant Pinnacle post

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Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2003 11:03 pm | Updated: 1:30 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Chaparral's loss is Pinnacle's gain.

Dana Zupke, the defensive coordinator at Chaparral High School the last seven seasons, is the new football coach at Pinnacle, according to Chaparral coach Ron Estabrook.

Zupke accepted the Pinnacle job late Wednesday night, said Estabrook, but Pinnacle athletic director Rich Amanati won't make an official announcement until other candidates for the job are notified. Estabrook said Zupke also didn't want to comment until the official announcement.

"It's a done deal," Estabrook said. "We're really proud of him at Chaparral, and I'm proud of him. I think he will be a great head coach. He'll be a good addition to the head coaching group in Arizona. He has worked hard for this."

Estabrook had been grooming Zupke to be his replacement. While nothing is official, it is likely Estabrook, whose Firebirds won the 4A state title last season, will retire after next season.

"Maybe I hung around a year too long," Estabrook said. "I think he wants to build his own program. He has said he doesn't just want to turn the keys in the car. He wants to build it himself. Pinnacle has a great base to build from."

A former assistant at Marcos de Niza, Zupke played college football at California Lutheran. Besides being Chaparral's defensive coordinator, Zupke also was the assistant head coach and the program's strength and conditioning coach.

Zupke is replacing Jim Hepting, who resigned as coach at three-year-old Pinnacle under pressure after last season when his team won only two games.

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