Phs Football Coach Terminated

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The contract of second-year Longhorn football coach Steve Saban will not be renewed, Payson High School Athletic Director Dave Bradley said.

Citing the removal of Saban from the coaching position a personnel issue and not a public one, Bradley would only say, "We felt the football program needed to go in a different direction."

Saban's termination as football coach does not affect his teaching position at Payson High School, Bradley said.

According to the AD, a timeline has been set to select a new coach.

"We have to wait and get the best coach we can," he said.

The selection of a new coach could depend on what teaching positions open at the school this spring.

"We have to see if we have a teacher's job to offer (with the coaching position)," Bradley said.

Last season, Saban had the Horns off to a promising 4-0 start that included impressive wins over state powers St. Johns and Wickenburg.

In the stretch run, however, the Horns fell to 6-4 and 2-3 in the East region.

The low point of the campaign was a 42-6 season-ending loss to the Show Low Cougars.

The Horns advanced to the state tournament as the East region's fourth seed, but were eliminated in the first round by the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.

In his first year at the helm of the program, Saban guided the team to a 5-5 finish (3-2 in the East) and a berth in the state tournament. In the opening round, the Horns were ousted from the tournament by eventual state champion Blue Ridge.

Saban was unavailable for comment at press time.

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