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GRHS names new girls soccer coach

Gila Ridge High School has selected Cooper Cox as the newest varsity head coach for the girls soccer program. Cooper Cox

Cox is the fifth girls soccer head coach in school history. He replaces Jessica Vanderbaan, who led the Hawks the previous four seasons.

“I am honored and excited to be the new head coach of the girls varsity soccer team,” said Cox, who is in his third year as a teacher at Gila Ridge. “Working the past couple of seasons on the JV level and as a varsity assistant has prepared me for this position and we have a tremendous amount of talent coming back to the pitch.”

The Hawks finished last season with a 9-6-1 record and made the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s 4A Conference State playoffs, losing in the first round to eventual state semifinalist Thunderbird High School.  

Cox, who teaches in the Physical Education department, is in his third year teaching at Gila Ridge. He graduated from the University of Mary in North Dakota where he played two seasons on their soccer team before injuries forced him to retire as a player.

The Hawks return a remarkable 15 players that spent time on last year’s varsity roster, led by Kylee House, who was a First Team All- Region selection last season. Arianna Begay, Kate Sumner, Andrea Fernandez and Kaylie Schultz were Second Team All-Region members.

The Lady Hawks open the 2019-20 season Dec. 4, 2019 when they host Central High School at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium.

Cooper Cox on sideline


James Kuzniak