Morales retires as Thatcher head football coach

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Ramon Morales addresses those in attendance during the Thatcher football awards banquet Dec. 9. On Saturday, Morales announced he has resigned his position as the head football coach for the Thatcher Eagles.

By Jon Johnson

THATCHER –  Longtime football coach Ramon Morales has announced his retirement from the head coach position for the Thatcher football team.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Thatcher head football coach Ramon Morales returns to his seat with a gift from his players at the team’s award banquet Dec. 9.

Morales stepped up for the Thatcher football program in 2018 after back-to-back state championship head coach Sean Hinton was removed from the team on July 2, 2018. Morales brought more than 30 years of coaching experience at Thatcher to the table and guided the Eagles to a third consecutive 2A State Championship. 

After going 14-0 in 2018 capped with the state championship, at the start of the 2019 season, Morales informed Thatcher Athletic Director James Hicklin that this season would be his last at the helm. 

“I had agreed to take over the program for one year,” Morales said in a statement released to the media Saturday morning. “When coach Hinton resigned his teaching position in December 2018, I asked my coaches if they were up to the challenge of going for (four) state championships in a row. I felt we had an outside shot to repeat if everything fell into place and it was best to keep the staff intact. I told my AD before the season, this was it either way.”

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: A player sports his “back-to-back” and “3-Peat” 2A State Championship rings during the team’s award banquet. On Saturday, Morales announced his resignation from the head football coaching position.

In total, the Eagles went 22-5 under Morales and made it to the state semifinals this year, succumbing to state runner-up Phoenix Christian, 28-0. 

According to the Facebook Page Thatcher Sports 24/7, Morales intends to remain on the staff as a running back and linebacker position coach. 

Beloved by his players for his inspiring pep talks prior to and after games (the latter in which he would turn his hat backward and inside out and ask “how does it feel?” to which the players would reply, “it feels good!” Morales brought a no-nonsense but fun atmosphere to the coaching staff and no matter if they won or lost always gave a summation to local reporters. He was definitely a class act who was appreciated by the Gila Herald staff and we congratulate him for his success as the head coach and wish him well in his next endeavor.  

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Thatcher head coach Ramon Morales celebrates with his players after winning a third consecutive state championship in 2018.

The search for a new head coach to foray Thatcher into the ranks of the 3A Division next year continues in earnest.  

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