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After working his way through the University of Arizona at the institution of experimental dairy agriculture college and graduation, Phil Bond began teaching at Coolidge High School mid-year in 1965 as the second ag teacher in an already strong program. He and his co-teacher, Cy Henry, supervised 190 acres of an FFA (Future Farmers of America) farm.
Coolidge High School is where Phil met his wife, Julie, also a CHS teacher, and together they established a small ranch along the Mexican border where they grow ocotillo plants. In 1982, they opened Avocado Nursery in Casa Grande, which may have been the first residential landscape drip irrigation company in the area. Mr. Bond noted that they didn’t really start out to “open a (nursery) business. The backyard just kind of got out of hand”. They also designed Distinctive Earthscapes Nursery. With two other families, they formed Vine Fresh Arizona, producing commercial tomatoes for grocery stores, including Safeway.
Phil played an integral role in the development of the Central Arizona College greenhouse. He continues to oversee the greenhouse and teach horticulture classes at CAC. He also offers “how-to” classes regarding the planting and care of the various plants offered at the Nursery.
Phil Bond has been a Master Gardener since 1982. To be a Master Gardener, one has to complete coursework as established by the U of A to receive certification in the fields of agriculture. Mr. Bond has been a 4H and FFA leader as well as a Gila River Boy Scout leader.
In 2014 Mr. Bond received the Dean Merrell Lifetime Achievement Award for Central Arizona College and the south-central district of the Arizona Association of National FFA Organization. Mr. Merrell was considered to be the founding father of agricultural education at CAC.
Phil Bond’s knowledge and dedication to the field of agriculture, education, and students are exemplary and legendary. Mr. Bond feels that he “owes his success to the exceptional students” he taught and mentored over the years.
Dave Glasgow came to Coolidge in the fall of 1993. He had previously worked as an assistant coach at Hayden High/Middle School, MacArthur High School in Houston, and the Green Fields County Day School in Tucson.
The Bears boys basketball team held a combined record of 217 wins - 89 losses in Glasgow’s 11 years in Coolidge. They won back-to-back 3A State Titles in 1998 and 1999 and went 32-0 on the way to another state title in 2002. The Bears had a 30-2 record but were defeated in the state championship game in 2001. Coolidge won 7 Regional Championships and six Regional Tournaments during Glasgow’s tenure with Coolidge and won 20 or more games six times. He was the Arizona Republic newspaper 1A-3A Coach of the Year in 1999, the Arizona Coaches Association 3A Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2002, and was named Regional Coach of the Year six times.
Glasgow left Coolidge in 2004 and went to Buena High School in Sierra Vista, AZ. The Colts have a combined 261 wins - 97 losses in his 12 seasons. Buena advanced to the 5A1 Final four in 2009 and 2011 and won regional championships in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2011. The Colts have won 20 or more games nine times during Glasgow’s time in Sierra Vista and have gone to the state tournament 11 consecutive seasons between2005 and 2015. Nearly 30 of his Buena players have gone on to play college basketball.
Glasgow was the 2005 Southern Arizona Coach of the Year and the Sierra Vista Herald newspaper Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2015. He has also been Regional Coach of the Year while at Buena and the Buena High Dedicatee for the 2015 Martin Luther King Classic at McKale Center in Tucson.
Coach Glasgow just began his 27th year in teaching. He taught Social Studies for 11 years at McCray Junior High and has taught U.S. History at the Buena High School for the past 12 years. He lives in Sierra Vista with his wife, Raisa, and daughter, Amanda.
Mickey McHugh was born in 1949 and has lived in Coolidge since he was 2 years old. He grew up in the house where his father, “Chuck” still resides and attended Coolidge Schools. Mickey graduated from Coolidge High School in 1967.
A few years after graduation, Mickey was asked by his father to take over for him as the announcer of Coolidge High School football. He agreed and became the “Voice of the Coolidge Bears” football program for 40 years. He provided game information for several championship seasons, as well as color commentary broadcasting for radio stations KCKY and KQEZ. Mickey also had the privilege of announcing the state all-star games, all divisions, for the Arizona Interscholastic Association from 2001-2004. In 2014, the Coolidge Unified School District dedicated the press box as the McHugh Press Box in honor of both Chuck and Mickey for 60 years of announcing.
Mickey has always enjoyed sports, especially playing baseball and fast and slow-pitch softball. He has a passion for serving the community of Coolidge. He joined the Coolidge Volunteer Fire Department in 1971 where he served for 43 years. Mickey’s career as the Fire Chief of the department spanned 27 of those 43 years, and he retired in 2014. He has worked for the City of Coolidge as a Public Safety Officer, Emergency Medical Technician, Assistant Airport Director, Purchasing Agent, and Loss Control Manager.
Throughout the years, Mickey has served in several other capacities in the community. He is a former president of Coolidge Little League and a former Little League coach. He dedicated time as a past president and secretary/treasurer of the Coolidge Rotary Club and the Fire Chiefs Association of Pinal County and was a member of the CAVIT Public Safety Advisory Committee. Mickey’s community recognition includes being named a Coolidge High School Homecoming Grand Marshall and Coolidge Days Grand Marshal.
Mickey married his high school sweetheart Sharon, a 1969 Coolidge High School graduate. They raised two children who also graduated from Coolidge High School, Shannon (Witcher) graduated with the Class of 1994 and is currently employed by the Coolidge Unified School District. Son Ryan, who graduated in 1996, works as a firefighter for the Gilbert Fire Department. Mickey is also the proud “Papa” to 5 grandchildren – Travis, Taylor, Brody, Kellan, and Madison.
Mickey is proud and honored to join his father as an inductee into the Coolidge High School Hall of Fame.
Ruth Maxine Murphree faithfully served the students of Coolidge for 37 years, working at both McCray Junior High School and Coolidge High School. She was the high school (wrestling) Mat-Maids coach for 29 consecutive years, which she would boast was the longest of any of the other CHS coaches.
Born in Webber Falls, Oklahoma, Maxine moved to Coolidge as a young girl. For the next 68 years, she would call Coolidge her home. She attended Coolidge High School, where she was crowned prom queen and graduated in 1960. Maxine married her high school sweetheart, Sol, with whom she had 4 daughters. When her youngest daughter was of school age, she began her career with Coolidge Unified School District.
Maxine held many positions within the District before becoming a special needs paraprofessional at the high school. She held a unique bond with these students and would go on to devote her time making sure each felt special – something that was very important to her. Maxine was nominated and awarded Classified Employee of the Year in both 1992 and 1995. In 1997 was awarded the Especially for Kids award from the Arizona Education Association (AEA). Before retiring in 2009, Maxine was crowned Grand Marshal for the annual Homecoming Parade.
Maxine had four daughters, three sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren, all graduates of Coolidge High School.
Bobby Skousen was born to Arizona natives Clyle and Barbara Skousen on August 28, 1929. While still an infant, the family moved to Coolidge to begin farming along Highway 87, north of the Casa Grande Ruins. The area soon became Skousen Farms, which are still in operation today.
Bobby started kindergarten in 1934 and continued in the Coolidge Public School system, graduating from Coolidge High School in 1947. He recalls having to milk the cows before school to earn money for whatever new electronic device – such as radios or movie cameras –that was available. He was involved in extracurricular school activities such as football and being president of the Future Farmers of America. He won an Arizona State award for Electronic Excellence when he rewired the farm shop. He drove to school in a 1927 Model T Ford that he worked on in his (automotive) shop class.
With the urging of his father and his Agriculture teacher, Elmo Jenson, Bobby attended Arizona State College in Tempe in 1947 and graduated in 1952. He married Elaine Kent, also a Coolidge graduate, in 1951 and entered a farming business partnership with his father shortly thereafter. His family grew to include 3 daughters and a son.
Bobby saw the advantage of looking to the future and served 19 years on the San Carlos Irrigation Board to preserve water for the next generations. He spent 19 years on cotton ginning boards and served on various other committees in the area, including acting as an advisor for Pinal County on the Arizona State Parks Board. Too, he spent 10 years as a Hunter Safety instructor in the community.
Feeling the need to give back to the community that raised him and his children, Bobby served on the Coolidge School Board for 11 years. He was on the Board and worked hard to pass a bond election that saw the completion of the Performing Arts auditorium. During his time on the school board, Bobby attended every high school football and basketball game, often chauffeuring a whole crew of Coolidge fans in his motor home to support the team.
Bobby is still working in the fields of Skousen Farms, growing cotton and giving tours of the River Cotton Gin Co-Op. He can also be seen tinkering on that same 1927 Model T that he drove in high school.
Sherrill Stephens began his history in Coolidge, Arizona, when the family moved from Texas. He went to Coolidge Unified Schools from 4th grade on and graduated from the high school in 1955. He was accompanied by his brothers, Ralph and Kenneth, along with his sister, Merla. He also has nieces and nephews who have graduated from this great high school. Sherrill received varsity letters in football all 4 years, in baseball for 3 years, in track for 2 years and in basketball for 3 years, a total of 12 Varsity letters in all. These various sports endeavors were a terrific experience that he shared with many coaches and fellow players. Sherrill felt like an Ivy Leaguer, only he lived in a small cotton farming town in Arizona.
Sherrill was Representative and President of the Model Legislature and the Letterman Club for 4 years as vice-president.
He was captain of the football team and captain of the basketball team in both his Senior and Junior years. He had the great opportunity to be the second-leading scorer in the state of Arizona for basketball in 1954 and 1955. Sherrill played in the basketball all-star game in 1955 and was Senior Athlete of the Year in 1955.
After graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in education, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Administration with a total of 9 years of college credits. He gave 51 years as an educator – classroom teacher, athletic director, assistant principal, and principal. Sherrill spent 28 years in Nevada and 23 years in education in Arizona.
Sherrill spent 23 years as a head basketball coach, winning over 500 games, including 6 state titles, and 24 of 25 years as a winning basketball coach. His team won the Pasadena Invitational numerous times.
In total, he has 30 years of coaching football, 15 years as a head coach with 13 of 15 winning seasons. He also was president of the southern Nevada Coaches Administration.
Throughout his career, he has influenced thousands of young men and women to go forward and use their skills and knowledge to be successful and make a difference in the world.
He racked up 11 years as the Principal of Coolidge High School and was principal at both Miami and Globe High Schools. Sherrill made substantial improvements working with North Central as well as improvements and AYP in each school with which he was associated in both Arizona and Nevada.
Sherrill had opportunities to know and acquaint himself with many great coaches in the world as he spoke at many athletic clinics in Utah, Arizona, California, and New Mexico. His thrust was “How to take a losing program and turn it around to become successful, especially in a multicultural setting”. Sherrill has had articles published in athletic journals over several years. He is considered to be one of the top 20 Coaches of the 20th Century in the state of Nevada. He is a member of the Coaches Hall of Fame in Nevada and also holds a Distinguished Service Award as well as a Master in Educator Award in Nevada. Sherrill was also given an award of Excellence in Administration in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sherrill has truly enjoyed and has been blessed with all of the experiences he has had in his life.
Sherrill would like to thank his daughters, Rene’ and Sherlyn, and his son, Ralph, as well as his most favorite nurse of all time, Jo Ann Pelzer, and her family for all the support and love they have given him over the years.