Saguaro High School football program has found its new head coach in Zak Hill, who will be taking over the position left vacant by Jason Mohns. Hill, who recently left his position as an offensive assistant at American Leadership Academy – Gilbert North, where he helped the team win the 4A state title, will be returning to the high school level after a few seasons coaching in the college ranks.

Mohns, who had been the head coach at Saguaro for 11 years, won seven state titles during his tenure, including the coveted Open Championship in 2021. After his departure from the program, Hill received a phone call from Mohns and was given the phone number of Saguaro Athletic Director Matt Harris. Five weeks later, Hill became the head coach for the Saguaro football program.

During his introductory press conference, Hill expressed his love for the program, gratitude for the coaching opportunity and excitement to meet his players and coaching staff. Hill revealed that returning to the high school level after a few seasons coaching in the college ranks was good for him because it allowed him more time to be with his players and the ability to build closer relationships with not only his team but his staff and the community.

Hill’s last coaching stint came as an offensive assistant with American Leadership Academy – Gilbert North, a charter school with championship pedigree. The team captured the 4A state title in his lone year with the Eagles. In 2020, Hill coached the ASU offense under former coach Herm Edwards after working as the offensive coordinator at Boise State for four years. Hill resigned a season later while the program dealt with the NCAA’s investigation into recruiting violations.

His unique blend of experiences caught the attention of Harris. “What set Zak apart from the other candidates was just the elite level that I think he can help move our kids to,” Harris said. “He has a great understanding of what kids need to do to succeed at the next level and prepare for the next level. He checked every box for us.”

Although Hill spent only one season with the Sun Devils, he left an impression, especially on current ASU starting quarterback Trenton Bourguet. Bourguet arrived five minutes before the press conference on a pair of crutches as he recovers from foot surgery. From the back of the room, he sat and watched his former coach give his inaugural speech.

One day, he wants to emulate Hill as a football coach and replicate the ideas that Hill taught him on the gridiron. But for now, he’s still taking notes. “I made sure to text him last night when I heard the news,” Bourguet said. “I’m super excited for him and his family because he was one of my favorite coaches, and as good as he was as a coach, he was a good person as well.”

Hill’s resume could have landed him another coaching job at many colleges across the country, but one key factor played a role in his decision to return to the high school level: family. “I’ve had a lot of conversations with my wife and my parents – they’re all part of this decision. When we came down here we definitely fell in love with Arizona,” Hill said.