Arizona Western eliminates football, leaving only EAC in state with sport, for now

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Arizona Western College: Yuma’s Arizona Western College announced Wednesday that it has opted to cut football, following the lead of the Maricopa County Community College District and Pima Community College.

By Matthew Roy/Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Arizona Western College announced on Wednesday the elimination of its football program, effective immediately.

In a statement, the college said in the past year it has tried to “navigate a series of seismic changes at the league and two-year collegiate level but was unsuccessful in carving a sustainable path forward for the program.”

“It was an incredibly difficult decision for me and my team to make,” AWC President Dr. Daniel Corr said in the statement.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The scoreboard at John T. Mickelson Field is powered down for the off-season. It remains to see EAC will continue its football program in 2019.

The decision comes on the heels of the Maricopa County Community College District announcing in February that it would eliminate football at the four schools that have it after the 2018 season.

Pima Community College in Tucson also decided to eliminate football in June.

With all six of these colleges cutting their programs, it leaves just Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher as the only community college in the state to have a football program. The school is scheduled to host a public open house on Thursday to discuss the sport’s future there.

According to coaches around the Western States Football League, EAC is heavily reviewing its financial situation to see if it can still afford to fund the sport.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: EAC head football coach John O’Mera led his team to a conference championship this year and the Mississippi Bowl.

If EAC eliminates its program, this will leave junior colleges in Arizona with no football.

“At the end of the day,” Corr said, “the challenges we faced to continue the program – with the uncertain future of the league, the difficulty in putting together a schedule, the inability to fund increased travel – were simply too much.”

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