Successful run for Scott McKee at Sahuaro comes to an end

Scott McKee, who will not return to coach Sahuaro, is proud of what the Cougars were able to accomplish in his 13-year tenure with the program.

“The run was great, the longest run of current TUSD coaches,” he mentioned via a text message. “What a great time with all those amazing young men and coaches. It was a blast! Loved working there.”

Sahuaro athletic director Steve Botkin mentioned that he could not comment on the decision by McKee and TUSD to part ways.

The timing is unfortunate with Sahuaro on its winter break.

McKee mentioned he intends to “see my guys face to face to be able to thank them and let them know I am not letting them down.”

McKee, 42, was a star linebacker while at Sabino High School under Jeff Scurran and went on to walk on at Arizona in 1997 when Dick Tomey was coach.

Scott McKee coached 13 years at Sahuaro (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

He is the son of legendary local coach and administrator Larry McKee, a standout lineman at Arizona from 1968-71.

Scott McKee’s two coaching stops have been at Pueblo and Sahuaro, two challenging places to coach that struggled before his arrival.

Pueblo had not advanced to the state playoffs in 13 years when he took over there in 2004. His father also coached Pueblo from 1977-79.

The younger McKee coached the Warriors from 2004-08 (compiling a record of 12-40) before leaving to Sahuaro in 2009.

Sahuaro High School Football Coaches

The records of Sahuaro head coaches over the history of the program:
1968-82Virgil Stan68-67-7
1983-94Howard Breinig110-29-2
1995-97Will Kreamer24-11
1998-2000Nemer Hassey25-12
2001-08Chuck McCollum30-52
2009-21Scott McKee71-62

The Cougars advanced to only one postseason in the eight years prior to his hire. He coached the program to the playoffs in five of his first six seasons. He led Sahuaro to nine postseason appearances overall.

In 2018 and 2019, Sahuaro was 19-6. The Cougars advanced to the 4A state semfinals in 2018 and were the No. 1 seed in the 4A state playoffs in 2019.

The last two years were difficult at Sahuaro and many other schools because of COVID-19.

The Cougars lost all three of their games in the shortened 2020 season. They were 1-8 this season while dealing with players missing games because of COVID-19 protocol.

“We all had issues with the COVID seasons (2020 and this year),” McKee stated.

Scott McKee, who owns McKee’s Quality Painting, was 71-62 at Sahuaro with his best mark 10-3 in 2018. Only the legendary Howard Breinig (110-29-2 from 1983-94) had more wins at Sahuaro than the younger McKee.

Combined with his time at Pueblo, Scott McKee is 83-102 in 18 seasons as a head coach.

Sahuaro is the third Southern Arizona school to undergo a coaching change since the end of the season.

Last month, Rio Rico hired Scurran to replace Kevin Kuhm. Flowing Wells is in search of a replacement for Scott Cortese.


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

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