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Weber named Yuma High coach for third time
For the past five years, Curt Weber was an assistant coach for Yuma High head coach Tom Fox.
He's been the longtime track coach. He's been an assistant coach at Arizona Western. And he's been the head Criminal coach twice before.
On Monday, the school announced Weber will begin his third stint as the Yuma High head football coach after Fox's resignation in November.
“We want to get Yuma High back in the news as far as being a leader,” Weber said. “I can think of nothing better for my contribution to be the head football coach. Let's get this Criminal nation back on track.”
Weber coached the Criminals from 1992-93 and 1997-98. The Criminals went 2-8 last year, and their last win against a team other than Kofa or San Luis — two other teams mired in slumps — was a 61-21 win against Gila Ridge on Oct. 9, 2009. They finished that year 6-5, their last winning season.
“We'd like to win five, six, seven ballgames and get us back in the conversation again,” Weber said. “There are so many people — I use the phrase Criminal nation — who have walked through this place over the generations that just live and die and bleed blue.
“We owe it to them, we owe it to the Criminals of days gone by, to put a good program on the field. It's something they can rally around.”
Weber spent last year as the junior varsity coach and has been around the JV team for the past couple years. He said he's been impressed with the past couple of freshman classes and thinks those players will mesh and help the Criminals win.
“We think the nucleus is there. They've had some fairly decent success at the lower levels, and I'm anxious to see how that translates to the varsity level. ... And you take our juniors, and they're ready to be senior leaders.
“I really think your team emulates what your seniors are all about. If your seniors don't have leadership, you are going to struggle. That's something we're going to work on here at Yuma High School, and that's something I'm going to work on.”
Weber said he learned a lot from Fox.
“Tom Fox was a great person. “I really enjoyed my time with Tom Fox. Tom was a good manager. If there's one thing I can learn from, it's that. I benefited from that.
“As far as what we're going to do, I have a program I'm sold on. And the kids, we had an introduction to the team a couple hours ago, and the enthusiasm I saw there, I was quite frankly overwhelmed. They know what I want to do and I am very sure they are not going to buy in — they've already bought in. That's going to be a big difference.”
Weber is also the track coach at Yuma High. He said he's still evaluating if he'll continue in that role. He said football is a year-round commitment as a coach, although he'd like to see more of his players try their hands at other sports.
“We can go push weights and run forever, but if you're competing against someone, you're growing. For those that don't want to, we're going to offer a program for them in the weight room and on the field.”