Joseph Ortiz is leaving Glendale Cactus' Open Division football team to lead Gilbert Perry's program.
The school announced the recommendation of Ortiz on Friday morning. It is pending Chandler district governing board approval on Jan. 26.
"I'm beyond excited to get to work at Perry," Ortiz said. "To play in the 6A Premier Region is where you want to be. Can't wait to get started."
Ortiz replaces Preston Jones, who was the only head coach in Perry's history.
Cactus went 10-0 last season and out of 4A was chosen for the elite Open Division eight-team playoffs, losing to eventual champion Scottsdale Saguaro in the first round.
Many of those key Cactus players, including quarterback Will Galvan, are returning.
Perry is on the mend after struggling since the Purdy brothers, quarterbacks Brock and Chubba, graduated.
Ortiz, who came to Cactus after being offensive coordinator at Gilbert Higley, knows how to jump-star offenses. Some of Higley's most explosive seasons came when Ortiz was coaching the offense.
But Ortiz realizes he is leaving a program in great condition.
Because of Cactus' success under Ortiz, leading the Cobras to the 4A semifinals in 2019 and to the championship game in 2020, they've been promoted to 5A for next football season by the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
"It was a very hard decision but this opportunity doesn't happen often," Ortiz said. "I'd like to think Cactus is in a better place from when I started. They're in great shape and will be great in 5A next season."
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Perry High announces Joseph Ortiz to become its football coach