When head coach Pat Nugent left the Canyon Del Oro football program after nine years to take over at Pima Community College, he took a record of 72-30 and a state title appearance with him.

The coach was also the focal point of a cooperative effort between parents and coaches that made CDO’s contests, as Nugent himself described them, “not just football games, but experiences.”

Now CDO’s administration must decide who will take over the reins and hopefully for the Dorados, continue the winning tradition Nugent started.

“I made a recommendation that my defensive coordinator Dusty Piece is the most capable guy,” said Nugent. “He’s excited to do that, he’s a young guy but he has the energy level and has been on the staff for seven years.”

While Nugent’s advice “absolutely has some bearing,” CDO athletic director Dave Thatcher said the Dorados are not ruling out any applicants.

“The position is posted on both the (Arizona Interscholastic Association) Web site and the district site,” said Thatcher.

The callback process will begin on Friday, Jan. 30. Interviews are then conducted, and an applicant may be selected by Feb. 12 or 13, said Thatcher.

That decision will be made by an “eight- to nine-person committee that will include our trainer, a teacher, a current coach, players and parents,” he added.

Nugent hopes the committee will make the “right decision.”

“I hope they don’t bring anyone in from the outside, because CDO is absolutely loaded for many years to come,” said Nugent.

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