Corona del Sol High School football coach Jon Becktold announced his retirement from coaching on Friday, Dec. 17, during a team meeting.
Becktold has been coach of the Aztecs for five years, leading a resurgence in the program that saw the 2020 squad post the school’s first undefeated regular season and become the first Tempe Union High School District school to earn a berth in the Arizona Interscholastic Association Open Division Playoffs.
This past season, with expectations at an all-time high considering that the Aztecs were coming off unbeaten records at all three levels – varsity, junior varsity and freshman – Corona dropped its first four games, two of them by single-digit deficits, yet rallied to win five of their final six and successfully defend their 6A East Valley Region championship.
“I appreciate our Aztec football community so much,” Becktold said. “Our parents are phenomenal and we have a great group of players and coaches. We’ve accomplished a lot over the past five years, and I know that our football program will continue to grow and succeed.”
Becktold, two-time region coach of the year, brought stability to a program that had been through several coaches in a short time period, which contributed to the Aztecs’ declining fortunes.
Leaving the head coaching position will allow Becktold to spend more time with his family, he said. He will continue to teach math at Corona del Sol.
Corona principal Nate Kleve said that Becktold’s positive impact on the program will be felt for years to come.
The search for a new football coach will begin immediately and the position will be posted on the district website, according to Kleve.