Greg McKinstry, whose football coaching background includes being an assistant at Sioux Falls (S.D.) O’Gorman High School since 2016, has been hired as Catalina High School’s new football coach.
Former Douglas coach James Fitzgerald is returning to Southern Arizona as coach at Eloy Santa Cruz, taking over the 2A state championship program left by Rishard Davis.
Catalina and Santa Cruz will be part of the newly aligned 2A Rillito region that includes Tanque Verde, Santa Rita and Sequoia Pathway.
Davis, the first African-American coach to lead a team to a football state title in Arizona, announced last month he was returning home to Alabama after six years with Santa Cruz. He will be an assistant at Chilton (Ala.) County High School in the fall.
— Richard Obert (@azc_obert) May 21, 2021
Fitzgerald was an assistant coach with Davis at Pusch Ridge in 2013.
He returned to his alma mater Chandler Valley Christian last season to be the offensive coordinator. He was an assistant coach at Brevard College in North Carolina in 2019 after leaving Douglas.
McKinstry, who will be in his first head coaching role, will take over a program that has not had a winning season since 2007 under Shawn Wasson. He replaces Chris Barlow, who coached the Trojans the last three years. He also becomes the Trojans’ fifth head coach in the last 10 years.
McKinstry’s coaching background includes being the co-offensive coordinator at O’Gorman, which was 33-12 in his four seasons there (the team did not play in 2020 because of COVID-19).
A former defensive back at Ohio University and Northern Iowa, McKinstry also served as an assistant at Northern Iowa from 2009-12.
His high school coaching stops include Waterloo, Iowa, and Milwaukee.
In the last three years, he has worked as a behavioral specialist at a middle school in Sioux Falls.
Catalina and Santa Cruz are two of eight high schools with new head coaches in 2021. The list:
Cienega: Justin Argraves (previously at Tucson High)
Tucson: Richard Sanchez (previously at Santa Rita)
Mica Mountain: Pat Nugent (previously at Cienega)
Marana: Phillip Steward (previously assistant at Marana)
Catalina Foothills: Daniel Sainz (previously assistant at Sahuaro)
Sahuarita: Jake Price (previously assistant at Mountain View)
Catalina: Greg McKinstry (previously assistant at Sioux Falls (S.D.) O’Gorman)
Santa Cruz: James Fitzgerald (previously assistant at Valley Christian)
Santa Rita is in the process of interviewing candidates to replace Sanchez.
FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District