Karl Kiefer has finally turned in his whistle.

The legendary Arizona football coach has spent the last several years helping with the lower levels of the Mountain Pointe program, but the time has come.

This is the first time in 45 years that the 74-year-old won’t be working with the young men he has helped mold to be some of the area’s best players and coaches through the years.

But it doesn’t mean he won’t be watching.

“I’m at the point now where I get the opportunity to watch more football,” Kiefer, who won 308 games, told AIA365.com recently.

Kiefer’s influence on the Valley’s football programs is wide spread as some of his former players/assistants include Dan Hinds (Desert Vista), Mike Gibbons (formerly of Tempe McClintock), the late Scot Bemis (Notre Dame), Steve Campbell (Williams Field) and Phil Abbadessa (formerly of Mountain Pointe).

It makes Thursday night’s game between Tempe and McClintock to open the season pretty fitting as he graduated from Tempe in 1956 and is most remember for his coaching years at McClintock.

I’ve only met Coach Kiefer since he stopped leading a program, but I can still feel the presence everyone speaks of when they remember his glory days.

You can just see how he would command a sideline or a team meeting.

While he might be done with coaching, he will still be in the Mountain Pointe stadium that bears his name. He might be done coaching, but he isn’t going away.

“I know from the many years that I’ve coached the amount of preparation those guys have put in to get ready for the game,” Kiefer said told AIA365.com. “It’s exciting for me to go see these young high school kids play.

“I did it for so long that it’s a part of my life. I don’t want to rule that part out.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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