Former Ironwood Ridge football coach Matt Johnson takes over Mountain View Marana position

January 24, 2019 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Matt Johnson (Andy Morales/

Former Ironwood Ridge coach Matt Johnson is all set to take over the head position at Mountain View Marana. Former University of Arizona standout Bam McCrea resigned from the Mountain View position on Dec. 20 and Johnson announced his resignation from the Nighthawk program on Jan. 10.

“Mountain View represents a new challenge and experience for me,” Johnson said. “I am really excited to start fresh and see where this journey leads! As a coach, the thrill is working with kids and seeing how the program evolves. Having met with the Principal, Mr. (Todd) Garelick, and the Athletic Director, Mr. (Nathan) Orelup, we share a goal of getting Mountain Lion Football into the AIA Open Division Playoffs as soon as possible.”

Johnson played for legendary football coach Vern Friedli at Amphitheater before moving on to play for NAU in 1992. Johnson served as an assistant under Friedli from 1997 to 2000, was an assistant at Coconino and then returned to assist at Amphitheater again in 2002. He moved on to be the head coach at Rincon/University for four years before returning to assist at Amphitheater once again. Johnson coached at Catalina Foothills in 2008 before another local football legend, Will Kreamer, hired him to replace Gary Minor at Ironwood Ridge in 2009.

Johnson played in a state title game as a lineman at Amphitheater in 1990 and he coached the Nighthawks to a 13-1 season and defeated state-power Centennial 27-3 to win a state championship in 2012. In all, Johnson accumulated 104 wins as a head coach.

Johnson is also seeking a teaching position in the Marana School District.