A trio of Payson High School’s most accomplished and recognized coaches and teachers are stepping down.
Head football coach Josh Anderson, girls basketball coach Stacy Anderson and boys basketball coach Kenny Hayes say they will not return next school year to their PHS teaching and coaching duties.
Josh Anderson is leaving to become head coach at Dakota State University, one of his alma maters.
Hayes will join Anderson as the defensive coordinator at DSU. Stacy Anderson is Josh’s wife.
Last year Josh Anderson led the Longhorn football team to an undefeated season (14-0) and the 3A state championship. At the conclusion of the season, he was named the East Region Coach of the Year and later The Arizona Republic’s Small School Coach of the Year.
Hayes coached the Horn basketball team to the 2008-2009 East Region regular season and tournament championships and a berth in the state tournament. On Feb. 27, the team was eliminated from the state chase by a 67-57 loss to Chinle. Last year under Hayes, the team came within a whisper of winning the state crown losing to Estrella Foothills in the championship finale.
Stacy Anderson, who has been at the helm of the Lady Longhorn program for 1-1/2 years, coached the team to the East championship and into the second round of the state tournament before losing a 47-46 heartbreaker to Monument Valley on Feb. 28.
PHS athletic director Jason Lobik said he was disappointed to see the three leave, “but I am happy for them — they will be missed and hard to replace.”
At PHS, Josh Anderson teaches drafting and weight training, Stacy Anderson is a physical education instructor and Hayes, one of the most popular teachers among the students, is the chairman of the social studies department.
In addition to Hayes being the head basketball coach and the football team’s defensive coordinator, he also coaches track and field.
Josh Anderson is elated about returning to his alma mater
“I am extremely excited about becoming the next head football coach at DSU,” he said. “I look forward to putting a great staff together, building relationships with the current athletes and getting up to speed with our recruits.”
DSU athletic director Gene Wockenfuss praised Anderson and the DSU’s program, “Trojan football fans are a loyal group, and coach Anderson will work hard to earn their support.”
Hayes, who has been the East Coach of the Year the past two seasons, thanked fans and boosters, “I appreciate the town’s support of me and my programs for the last five years.”
He also praised his students and athletes, “the kids in Payson are great, hard-working young men and women, and I will miss them dearly.”
Hayes began his coaching career at PHS in 2004 as the freshman basketball coach. The following year he coached the jayvees and later took over the reigns of the program from Chuck Hardt who retired.
Josh Anderson has been at the helm of the football program for the past three seasons.
During his first year, the team struggled, finishing 4-6 overall and failed to earn a state tournament berth.
The following season, the team improved to 8-4 and advanced to the state semifinals where the Horns lost 16-14 to the Coolidge Bears.
In 2008, the team became the top dog in the 3A conference whipping state powerhouse Blue Ridge twice during the season.
Stacy Anderson assumed the Lady Longhorn program on Jan. 17, 2008 after former coach Grant Coley unexpectedly resigned in mid-season.
She led the team into the state playoffs, but the Lady Horns were eliminated in the first round by a 76-60 loss to Window Rock.
This season, the Lady Horns finished 24-7 and earned a No. 3 seed into the state tournament.
Dakota State University is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Association (NAIA) affiliated school located in Madison, S.D.
It has a student population of more than 2,500 and its 14 athletic teams play in the Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC). The school was founded in 1881 as Dakota Normal School.
In 1984 the South Dakota Legislature mandated the name change.