2023 High School Football

Dustin Peace resigns after coaching CDO’s football program to two state titles in 15 years

Only 11 other coaches at Southern Arizona schools since 1960 have coached in more state championship games than Dustin Peace, who was in three of them and won two (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Dustin Peace, who led teams to championships at CDO in 2009 and last season with 14-0 records, has resigned his position as head coach, he announced Tuesday on social media.

Peace was 119-50 in his CDO tenure, which started in 2009 after Pat Nugent left to coach Pima College’s now-defunct program. He also coached the Dorados to the 2010 state title game.

He is one of six coaches in Tucson with at least two state titles. Jeff Scurran earned three titles at Sabino, and Richard Sanchez of Sunnyside, John Mallamo of Tucson, Ollie Mayfield of Tucson and Bob Smith of CDO each had two.

Peace started coaching at CDO in 2002 as an assistant under Nugent while working torward his degree in education.

He played linebacker at NAU for two seasons after graduating from Flowing Wells in 2000. A neck injury ended his career with the Lumberjacks during the 2001 season, and he returned to Tucson to work on his degree and begin his coaching career.

“I have been gifted with so many amazing relationships and opportunities that I am grateful for,” Peace wrote in his social media announcement. “I wanna first thank my family for allowing me to have this opportunity to impact young men like my past coaches have impacted me.”

Among those played for Peace at CDO include former Arizona and NFL running back Ka’Deem Career, former Stanford and NFL linebacker Blake Martinez, former Arizona safety Jared Tevis and this year’s leading rusher in the state, Kayden Luke.

Former Pueblo and Sahuaro coach Scott McKee, a consultant and offensive line and linebackers coach with CDO’s program in the last two seasons, is a potential candidate to replace Peace.

McKee, 44, was a star linebacker while at Sabino under Jeff Scurran and went on to walk on at Arizona in 1997 when Dick Tomey was coach.

He was 71-62 at Sahuaro from 2009-21 after compiling a 12-40 record at Pueblo from 2004 to 2008.

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

The CDO opening is the ninth in Southern Arizona following the 2023 season.

Two of the spots have been filled — Pat Ryden is the new coach at Salpointe and Jake Allen left Pueblo for Sahuarita.


SalpointeEric RogersPat Ryden
SahuaritaJake PriceJake Allen
ChollaVirgil Henderson
PuebloJake Allen
BensonDustin Cluff
BisbeeShawn Holley
Rio RicoJeff Scurran
Rincon/UniversityKhyree Copeland
Canyon del OroDustin Peace


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 in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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