Payson High School athletic director Dave Bradley and District Superintendent Sue Myers are beaming with the knowledge that almost the entire fall sports staff is made up of coaches who also teach on campus.
"We have more coaches teaching at the school than we ever have," Bradley said. "That's important because (coaches) need that school-day contact with the kids."
Myers agrees, "If (the coaches) are on campus, they can better support their players in academic classes. It makes the school and the program stronger."
Having coaches on the same campus where they teach is quickly becoming a rarity in Arizona prep sports.
In the larger 4A and 5A Valley-area schools, many coaches are employed at schools and in districts other than the one in which they teach. Some also come from the private employment sector.
Payson High's five head coaches -- Jerry Rhoades (football), Joe Schmidt (girls soccer), Roger Wholly (boys soccer), Arnold Stonebrink (volleyball) and Chuck Hardt (cross country) -- are full-time members of the Payson High School faculty.
On the football staff, coaches who teach include Kenny Hayes, Ken Perkins, Scott Dean and Brian Young. Coach Joe Perone is a retired teacher from New Jersey and freshman coach Les Barr is on campus as the school resource officer. The only football coaches who are not teachers are Mark Henning and Jimbo Armstrong.
In volleyball, Stonebrink is on campus after being lured from Pine Elementary School where he taught last year during his first season as the Lady Horns' head coach.
Senior Jadyn Walden is among those players who profit from having Stonebrink on campus.
"It's easy to find him if I need to know something about practice or volleyball," Walden said.
Freshman volleyball coach Carol Hayes is a physical education teacher at Rim Country Middle School, but works in Wilson Dome on the PHS campus. Junior varsity coach Judy Perham is an elementary school teacher.
Cross country assistant Chuck Yale is a retired teacher from New York.