Andy Litten is coming home Friday — not to Mountain View’s home field, but to Tucson, nonetheless — with his Scottsdale Horizon football team.
The game between Horizon and Mountain View was originally scheduled to be at Wayne Jones Stadium, where Litten played until he graduated in the 1999-2000 school year.
It will instead be at CDO’s field at 7 p.m. because the new turf field at Mountain View is not completely installed.
“It’s a cool, surreal feeling,” said Litten about returning home to face his alma mater. “I just think there will be a lot of memories.”
Horizon is 1-0 after a 66-17 win over visiting Canyon View last week. Mountain View is 0-1 after a 27-21 loss at Gilbert.
Many family, friends and fellow classmates during Litten’s time at Mountain View are expected to be in attendance.
Litten also keeps in close contact with Mountain View coach Matt Johnson, whom he also considers a mentor.
“Matt is a guy you can always go to and ask how you do stuff,” Litten said. “He has always wanted to meet up and talk football. He’s one of those guys you can always ask for film and vice-versa and kind of get his opinion and thoughts.
“He has a good football mind. I’ve actually sat in a lot of his clinics and learned a lot of football from him. He does a really good job with his kids. He teaches toughness. They’re really sound. I think he’s always just got a hard edge that he came from Amphi with and brought it wherever he coached at.”
Litten is 20-7 in his third year at Horizon, including a state title in 2021, after coaching Marana and quarterback Trenton Bourguet early in his career.
Litten took over a Marana program in 2012 that won four games in four years and had a 14-game losing streak at the time of his hire
He coached the Tigers to back-to-back 9-3 seasons in 2016 and 2017. A postseason win over Kellis in 2016 was Marana’s first playoff win in 15 years.
After serving as offensive coordinator at Chandler powerhouse Hamilton, Litten led Scottsdale Horizon to its first state championship appearance since 1995 as the No. 1 seed of the 5A state tournament in his first season with the Huskies.
The Huskies beat Salpointe that night in Tempe.
Litten was an offensive lineman with Mountain View and at Arizona as a walk-on at the turn of the century. He played for Wayne Jones at Mountain View and Dick Tomey at Arizona, both of whom left a lasting mark on how he coaches and relates to players.
His coaching contemporaries include Pusch Ridge coach Kent Middleton and many of Middleton’s staff members who have a background coaching with Litten and serving as mentors, such as Brent Bartz.
He has coached with Sahuarita coach Jake Price while he was the head coach at Marana. He also brought in legendary Gary Minor to help him at Marana as a defensive coordinator.
While at Marana, he developed the Tigers into one of the top offenses in the state. His development of Bourguet enabled the young quarterback to become a preferred walk-on at Arizona State. Bourguet has since played under scholarship the last three seasons.
As a junior in 2017 — Litten’s last season with Marana — Bourguet completed 144 passes in 233 attempts (61.8 percent) for 2,984 yards with 38 touchdowns with 11 interceptions.
One of his players at Marana, Jeff Carranza, is the wide receiver coach at Horizon. He was a senior when Litten coached his first year at Marana in 2012. Carranza in his third season with Horizon.
Litten, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Arizona in 2004, moved to Chandler in 2018 after his wife accepted a nursing position in the Phoenix area.
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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.