Leaving A Legacy: Coach McKee


Lia Ghirardi, Editor

Over winter break, Sahuaro Head Football Coach, Scott McKee, stepped down from his coaching position much to the surprise of the team. Coach made this decision after having an evaluation meeting with principal Mr. Estrella. In an interview with the Arizona Daily Star, McKee states: “It was a matter of the relationship between the two parties, and a change was needed from both sides. I received a positive evaluation and the administration and I concluded on good terms.”  Principal Estrella seconded this, adding, “Coach McKee was and will continue to be an important pillar in our Cougar community. I appreciate the time, effort, and mentorship he provided our students during his 13-year tenure. No football coach in the State worked as hard for our student-athletes as he did. He did his part to bring back our program to prominence. Most importantly he coached young adults and not just football.  I wish him the best with his next endeavor.”

Coach McKee started his coaching career at Sahuaro in 2009 after transferring from Pueblo High School. From then until now, Coach has had wins and losses, but most importantly, he has had an impact on his players and their families.

Junior Vincent Manata has been playing under McKee for 3 years and has had nothing but a positive experience. “Coach McKee, I’ll tell you there’s not many like him. He’s impacted me in many ways. He never let me quit, he would always push me to do my best even when I felt like I couldn’t move anymore. For example, if I were to squat a plate 100 times, eventually I would get tired and he would be right there making sure I complete the lift. He’s always been the person you can go to for anything. He would tell the team all the time that if anyone needed anything to talk to him. He would always say on holidays, like Thanksgiving, if anyone needed somewhere to eat or help with anything to talk to him and he would get them a place to eat, there’s nothing better than that. The few teammates that he has helped before are more than likely feeling the same way in the thought of how he impacted them. A moment I won’t forget with Coach McKee would probably be the inside run periods during practice. He would be so hyped and get everyone going and it just made the period a physical and fun time. What I’ll miss about him is how he treated us like his own family, the great coaching he gave us, and the Friday night football games with him. Once again there aren’t many like Coach McKee so to have been coached by him was an honor…”

Sophomore Andrew Goerke played his first varsity season this year under Coach McKee and had a lot of positive words as well. “When I first joined Sahuaro football I was a very cocky guy. I didn’t respect authority. I thought I was the best there was. Coach McKee showed me how to be a leader and a man. He humbled me and made me a better player. McKee believed in me, showed me what being a football player really means. There was never a dull moment with McKee. I have a million memories with coach. One of my favorites was at a practice, Buckeye week, everyone was down in the dumps. It was a hot day, nobody wanted to be there. McKee being the guy that he is jumped in the bottom of a dog pile screaming and yelling. Everyone got a laugh out of that. It was a sight to see. It definitely boosted the morale and made practice a whole lot better…Us players saw McKee more than our own parents. I mean we were with him for almost 6 hours a day, every day. McKee really held together the program. I think I’ll just miss his personality. Through all the punishments and torture we had to go through McKee truly cared for us. He could tell when something was up, and he’d make sure we’re all good. He genuinely was there for us. So that’s what I’ll miss the most, the character in him.”

Athletic Director, Steve Botkin, also praised McKee for his devotion, stating, “Coach McKee was a steadfast with the Sahuaro Football Program. He carried on the tradition of the program and brought it back to prominence.  He worked diligently in promoting the program and mentoring our athletes. We appreciate all that he did for the Sahuaro Community and wish the very best in his future endeavors.”

Coach McKee has had a major impact during his time at Sahuaro whether it be on the field or in the classroom. On behalf of Sahuaro, thank you coach for all that you do and leaving a legacy. Once a Cougar, always a Cougar.