Ironwood Ridge football coach Matt Johnson

Ironwood Ridge High School head football coach Matt Johnson, center, speaking with an assistant coach in the summer of 2018 during the teams pre-season practices. Johnson announced he was stepping away from the program Jan. 10.

Longtime Ironwood Ridge High School football coach Matt Johnson announced his resignation via his personal Facebook account the morning of Thursday, Jan. 10.

Johnson, who coached the Nighthawks to their first state championship in 2012, finished with an 85-35 record at the Oro Valley high school.

In his Facebook post, Johnson attributed his decision to step aside to his personal feeling that now was the perfect time to step aside from the program he led for a decade.

“It has been a great ten years and it is time to move on,” Johnson said in the post. “I want everyone to know that I have nothing but love for the kids of IRHS, the parents, and the administrators I have worked with. This decision is not related to our excellent admin team!” 

Johnson added that he plans on coaching in the future, though he does not know where or when he will do so.

He finished his post by vouching for the future of the program, which went 6-5 in 2018.

“To any prospective coaches: IRHS has a loaded senior class and is ready to have a great year,” Johnson said.

IRHS Athletic Director Tony Jacobsen thanked Johnson for his contributions to the school, calling him one of the greatest leaders in school history. 

"I am grateful for the honor to have worked with Coach Johnson for the past five years.  Matt has been the epitome of leadership and class here at Ironwood Ridge and we are grateful for his service to the hundreds of kids that have come through the football program,” Jacobsen said in an email. "Matt is a gem in the Tucson community, he will continue to shine no matter what he chooses to do next. We wish him and his family the very best."

Check back for updates on this story through the day.

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