Darius Kelly resigns from Catalina Foothills, coaching Sidewinders JC team

Former Buena High School and Pima College standout Darius Kelly, who went on to a career at Syracuse, has resigned from his head coaching job at Catalina Foothills, the school’s athletic director Ryan Tkalcevic confirmed tonight.

Kelly was 4-8 in his brief two-year stint with Catalina Foothills, which hired him after legendary coach Jeff Scurran resigned following the 2018 season.

Tkalcevic said the coaching position will be posted next week for applicants and the interview process will begin soon after.

Kelly, who could not be reached for comment, resigned last week to take over the Sonoran Sidewinders head coaching position. His offensive coordinator at Catalina Foothills, former Arizona receiver Devin Veal, left with him to coach the Sidewinders.

Former Catalina Foothills coach Darius Kelly (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

The Sonoran Sidewinders are part of the Hohokam Junior College Athletic Conference. They are one of five teams in the HJCAC that is privately funded. Athletes attending junior colleges in Arizona fill the rosters.

The games provide more opportunities for the players to be noticed by four-year programs while they work on a college education, a needed element after junior colleges in Arizona terminated football programs for financial reasons after the 2018 season.

The Sidewinders’ home games are at Kino North Stadium.

Kelly’s departure from Catalina Foothills means there are presently three coaching vacancies in Southern Arizona. Tucson High and Sahuarita are also looking to fill their head coaching position.

Justin Argraves, who coached at Tucson for 10 years, accepted the head coaching position at Cienega on Friday.

Sahuarita’s coach for the last three years, Don Watt, also resigned.


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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