A work transfer has caused Jeff Cook to resign as Gilbert Christian's football coach, he said Monday.
Cook and his family are moving to the Pinetop area because his new responsibilities include working near the Arizona-New Mexico border.
The Knights played their first year of varsity football a season ago, finishing 5-3 in Division VI eight-man football. Gilbert Christian has a very small enrollment, but the school's football field is state-of-the-art and the goal is to move up to 11-man football if the participation numbers increase.
When unexpected resignations happen this late in the process, some schools prefer to promote from within and then open the job back up the next year when the pool of candidates is larger. However, Gilbert Christian superintendent Jim Desmarchais said the the school will look to find a long-term coach to fill this opening.
"Though it's late, we are hoping we can identify a candidate who wants to grow this program to become an elite football program," he said in an email.
Cook's son, Nolan, will transfer to Blue Ridge. Nolan Cook was an all-Division VI linebacker last year as a sophomore and an all-section running back. He carried the ball 161 times for 1,210 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also led the team in tackles with 61.