The Pima Community College football program has its new leading man as the athletics department selected Jim Monaco as its new interim head football coach on Monday. The hiring is pending Board of Governors’ approval.
Monaco, who coached the defensive line and was the recruiting coordinator the last two seasons for the Aztecs, steps in for coach Pat Nugent, who resigned in November after coaching Pima for five seasons. Monaco will take over a program that finished with a 5-5 record last season; its best finish since 2004.
“It’s a thrill, a culmination of a career,” Monaco said upon hearing the news that he was selected. “It’s something I’ve been working towards for a long time. To have the support of the staff, and the players walking up and saying ‘we want to play for Coach Monaco’ makes you feel humble.”
Monaco, who has 31 years of coaching experience under his belt, had previous experience at Pima when he held the associate head coaching position as well as the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator from 2000-2004.
He has also been around the local high school scene. He was the head coach at Desert View from 2006-2011 and Tucson Magnet High School from 2005-2006.
He was the defensive line coach at Sahuaro High School from 1999-2000 and the offensive line coach for Catalina Magnet High School from 1991-1998.
Monaco saw how respected Nugent was within the program and couldn’t help but give him his due.
“I owe him everything. This to me, working with Pat, was the pinnacle,” he said. “His intelligence, integrity and character helps make you a better coach. I couldn’t have done this without his resounding endorsement.”
Monaco added that he is getting straight to work going around Southern Arizona to look at potential recruits.