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Jose GarciaMultimedia Journalist/Historian email@example.com
Legend not coaching but still looking forward to FridaysAug 21, 2012
This year marks the first time in more than 45 years that Karl Kiefer isn’t coaching a football team.
But the former Arizona coaching giant isn’t complaining.
“I’m at the point now where I get the opportunity to watch more football,” Kiefer, 74, said.
Kiefer retired from coaching at the varsity level in 2005, but he remained with the school he last worked at, Phoenix Mountain Pointe, to coach the lower level football teams up until last year.
On Friday, Kiefer will return to Mountain Pointe and sit near an end zone at the stadium that was named after him to watch the Mountain Pointe-Chandler Hamilton matchup, one of this week’s marquee high school football games. During his 14-year head coaching stint at Mountain Pointe, Kiefer became the first Arizona football coach to reach the 300-win plateau.
On Thursday, he’ll watch another matchup Kiefer used to enjoy coaching in. McClintock, where Kiefer coached at from 1966 until he took over Mountain Pointe, is playing Tempe High, with city of Tempe bragging rights on the line.
“I was 21-5 against them (Tempe),” said Kiefer as he looked at a paper with his coaching records during an interview Tuesday at his Chandler home.
Kiefer actually graduated from Tempe High in 1956, but on Thursday he’ll be rooting for McClintock from his house as he watches Cox 7’s telecast of the game. A stroke in 2005 affected the mobility of the left side of Kiefer’s body but not his passion for high school football.
“I know from the many years that I’ve coached the amount of preparation those guys have put in to get ready for the game,” Kiefer said. “It’s exciting for me to go see these young high school kids play.
“I did it for so long that it’s a part of my life. I don’t want to rule that part out.”