Newly appointed Longhorn football coach Josh Anderson arrives in Payson buoyed by seasons of collegiate coaching experience.
After graduating from North Dakota State, where he played tight end, Anderson worked as a graduate assistant at the school.
He then served as an assistant at Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb. coaching the defensive line.
Anderson later returned to his alma mater as a quarterback coach before moving to South Dakota State as a tight end coach.
All the colleges represent the Division I AA ranks.
For the past three years, Anderson has been head coach at Chino Valley High School.
Among his first duties after assuming the PHS reins was to appoint his assistant coaches. On his staff are Kenny Hayes, Bob Hoyt, Joe Perone, Les Barr and Jerod Torrey. Anderson said he hopes to soon add one or two more coaches to the staff with a goal of plucking them from the school's faculty.
"I'm real excited, because at Chino, I was the only coach on campus," he said. "It's important to have coaches from the (school's) staff."
Anderson is under contract to remain at Chino Valley until the end of the week but he's managed to set in motion his summer program, which will be conducted, until the new coach arrives in Payson, by his assistants.
Anderson said prospective football players entering ninth through 12th grade should participate in team weight and speed training sessions from 6 to 9 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in the PHS weight room and on Longhorn track.
Also on the off-season agenda is a summer camp to be held July 17 to 21 on the high school campus.
The camp will be similar to the ones conducted the past two years by former PHS coach Jerry Rhoades.
Campers will reside overnight in the PHS gym, eat in the school cafeteria and undergo three-a-day practice sessions.
Also like last year, Scottsdale Horizon High School will be in Payson to co-train with the Longhorns.
The camp fee is $125.
Anderson said it is extremely important for all players, especially those planning to play on varsity, to attend the camp and learn the nuances of his gridiron system.
Prospective football players had the opportunity to meet the new coach during introductory practices held May 26 and 27.
The sessions impressed athletic director Dave Bradley and PHS principal Roy Sandoval.
"He had more than 50 kids show up on Memorial Day weekend, that says something about him," Bradley said.
Sandoval, who will have a son on the freshman team, praised Anderson for his enthusiasm.
"He had the kids excited about playing," Sandoval said. "I think he will be great for the kids."
At PHS, Anderson will install the Wing-T offense that several former Longhorn coaches have used.
Rhoades ran the offense his first two years at the helm of the program, then switched at the onset of last season to an option attack.
"Much of what we do out of the Wing-T will depend on our personnel," Anderson said. "My philosophy has always been you run to set up the pass."
Defensively, Anderson will have the Horns in a basic 3-4 set that is similar to the traditional 5-2 defenses used by high school and colleges around America since the 1950s.
"From that 3-4, we will make a lot of defensive adjustments," Anderson said.
The defensive backfield coverages will include man-to-man and cover 2 and 3 zones.
At Payson High School, Anderson expects to teach computer education but that could change, he said, as more faculty members are hired.
His wife, Stacy, will teach physical education at PHS.