Pat Herrera, who resigned last week after an ultra-successful stint coaching baseball at Desert Ridge, has been hired at Skyline.
The Mesa district governing board approved the move on Tuesday. The Coyotes went 3-25 last season and have played second fiddle in the area to Herrera's teams at Desert Ridge. If Herrera can duplicate the success he had with the Jaguars, the move could change the competitive dynamic in east Mesa.
Herrera went 208-89-2 with Desert Ridge since 2005, winning consecutive state championships in 2009 and 2010.
Skyline is 19-63 in the past three years. The team's last winning season came in 2009, when the Coyotes went 16-11.
Herrera emailed the Tribune a statement on Tuesday night, which read:
"First, I'd like to thank Desert Ridge and Gilbert Public Schools for the opportunity they provided me 11 years ago. I'd also like to thank the players and community who believed in me and bought in to what I was teaching. My family and I feel that we have left the Desert Ridge community a better place than when we first arrived in 2002, and we walk away with absolutely no regrets. We are on to a new chapter of our lives where we get another opportunity to build an elite baseball program, and I feel so very honored and excited to work with the amazing and supportive administration/staff of Skyline High School. I truly feel great things are going to happen here, and I can't wait to get started."
The Jaguars went 26-6 this season but were upset in the second round of the Division I state tournament by Mountain Pointe. The team won 26 or more games in five of his final six seasons at the helm.
Herrera has produced Tribune Players of the Year Jake Barrett, Scott Hoffman, and this year, Riley Unroe, in his time at Desert Ridge.
He will have a teaching job at Skyline.