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After just one season, Robbie Rusconi has stepped down as the head coach of Flagstaff High School’s football team for personal reasons. Replacing him will be former Sinagua head coach Dave Dirksen.

“I stepped down as the head coach so I can focus on my family and spend more time with my wife and sons,” Rusconi said in an email on Thursday. “I am very grateful for the experience and built many lifelong relationships with both players and staff at Flagstaff High School.”

Dirksen will be the ninth man to serve as head coach in the past 10 years. The school has had trouble finding stability since Craig Holland’s contract was not renewed after the 2006 season.

Holland’s second stint as head coach stretched from 1994 to 2006, but he was replaced by Erik Affholter in 2007. Affholter opened the season as the head coach and compiled a 3-4 record before Pat Harlow took over for the final three regular season games and the team’s first-round loss in the state playoffs.

The Eagles have not returned to the state playoffs since that season, with Harlow resigning from the job in July 2008 before the season started. Current Coconino head coach Jeremiah Smith took over and spent the 2008 season and seven games in 2009 as head coach, with Greg Lees coaching three games while Smith was on personal leave.

After a single winless season with Kevin Kortsen at the helm in 2010, Ed Campos took over from 2011-13 and went 16-14 in his three seasons. Rusconi finished his first season 2-8 while coaching a team that had lost 22 players to graduation and many of its returners to injuries.

Dirksen coached Sinagua to an 0-10 record in 2009 in what would be the final season for the program. He also served as the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Flagstaff Unified School District before Mary K. Walton took over in 2012.

“Coach Dirksen brings 20 years of experience to our program having worked in Florida, Georgia, Iowa and most recently Arizona,” the school said in a release on Thursday. “We are very excited to have a coach of his experience and caliber. We look forward to building a solid program that will be an asset to our community."


Sports Reporter

Cody Bashore serves as the beat writer for Northern Arizona University basketball and football in addition to covering high school sports around Flagstaff for the Arizona Daily Sun.

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