Rio Rico hires former Bisbee coach Shawn Holley to lead its varsity football team

Shawn Holley’s coaching odyssey has taken him from his native North Carolina to Holbrook to Bisbee and now to Rio Rico, all since 2021.

The Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District board approved the hire of Holley on Tuesday night to coach the Hawks after legendary coach Jeff Scurran resigned after leading the program for two years.

Following his move from North Carolina to Arizona because his wife has family in the area, Holley was an assistant coach at River Valley in Mohave Valley in 2020. He was forced to return to his hometown of Elizabeth City, N.C., in 2021 because of COVID-19 restrictions in Arizona. He became coach of Pasquotank County High School there.

After going 0-8 at Pasquotank County, he again headed west to Arizona.

He took the job at Holbrook in 2022 and led the school to an 11-1 record, reaching the 2A state quarterfinals.

He became the athletic director and head coach at Bisbee last spring. He led the Pumas to a 5-5 record.

He stepped down to pursue other coaching interests and applied for the Rio Rico job after Scurran announced in December his resignation.

“It’s a blessing and a privilege to have this opportunity!” Holley mentioned in a text message. “Looking forward to meeting the kids, hiring some good coaches and getting the ball rolling!”

Holley, 16-14 in his three years as a head coach, is the seventh coach hired this offseason. A total of 11 coaching changes in Southern Arizona have taken place since the conclusion of last season.


BensonDustin CluffChris Rasmussen
BisbeeShawn Holley
Canyon del OroDustin Peace
Catalina FoothillsDaniel Sainz
ChollaVirgil HendersonDeShaun Epps
PuebloJake AllenSly Lewis
Rincon/UniversityKhyree Copeland
Rio RicoJeff ScurranShawn Holley
SahuaritaJake PriceJake Allen
SalpointeEric RogersPat Ryden
WillcoxEric Hjalmarson
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