Surprising news came down on Monday that the long time Head Coach of the Corona del Sol Basketball team, Sammy Duane Jr. has stepped down after 12 years as the head coach.
The Aztecs under Duane over the last several season have become a dynasty at the highest level of play in Arizona having won the last four state championships. He released a letter to his players and their parents this morning to announce his decision via the Tempe Union High School District.
“Dear Aztec Family,
As some of you may know by now, I have resigned my position as the Basketball Coach at Corona del Sol. I have taken the necessary time after the conclusion of the season to make sure this is the right decision for me and feel the time is right.
I believe I have given my best to Corona Basketball the last 12 years and have enjoyed being your coach. I now want to take some time and look at all my options going forward. It is also very important for me to finish my administrative certification which will allow me to grow both professionally and personally.
I want to sincerely thank each and every parent that has been a part of our program. Your support of me and the program has been a huge part of our success and for that I am grateful. I hope in some small way I have impacted your son in a positive way.
I would like to thank every player that I have had the pleasure to coach for their hard work and sacrifices. I treasure the great relationships that we have formed and look forward to continuing these in the future.
Thank you to my administration, faculty, staff, student body and all my coaches for our tremendous help and support. I appreciate each and every one of you!!
I hope everyone will understand and support my decision. It has been a wonderful 12 years and I will always cherish my time as the coach at Corona del Sol.
A source close the the program said this news came as a “complete and utter shock,” to the players and parents.
Under his leadership since taking over in 2003, Corona went 276-87 and qualified for the state tournament ever year. Corona has not lost a game to another Arizona team since January 29, 2013 at Dobson and have lost just seven games in the last four years. Corona is set to return three of the state’s top players next season in Marvin Bagley, Alex Barcello and Tyrell Henderson.