Pat Nugent to coach Mica Mountain

Pat Nugent (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

With 140 wins, Pat Nugent is second only to current Santa Rita head coach Richard Sanchez (161) on the active coaches win list for the Tucson area. Benson’s Chris Determan is right behind him with 139 wins for all of Southern Arizona. Nugent did most of damage as the head coach of Cienega and he announced his movement to neighboring Vail District high school Mica Mountain Tuesday afternoon.

The move comes after a few months of rumors and speculation but the foundation for the anticipated move to coach the Thunderbolts was already there with legendary football coach Nemer Hassey serving as the school’s first principal and another coaching legend, Jay Campos, serving as the assistant principal. Hassey also moved over from Cienega and Campos from Sabino.

Patrick Nugent with Jamarye Joiner in 2017 (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

Longtime Cienega athletic director Whitney Holland also moved over as did former Empire athletic secretary Terri Smith. Other coaches such as volleyball legend Amy Johnson also made the move to Mica Mountain so expect instant credibility when the program shifts to varsity competition in the 4A Kino Region.

How dominant has Cienega been? Since October of 2015, Ironwood Ridge is the only team from Southern Arizona that was able to stop the Bobcats – it’s an incredible 40-1 record and that includes a 3-0 mark against Salpointe.

Other 4A Kino teams include Walden Grove, Casa Grande, Canyon del Oro, Pueblo and Sahuaro.


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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