Can’t beat him, hire him.
It’s pretty much the premise behind Desert Vista’s administration decision to hire former Xavier co-head coach Jeff Messer to be the Thunder’s next girls cross country coach.
Desert Vista had finished second to Xavier for three straight years at the Division I state meet before last year’s third-place finish.
When Doug Christofis decided he needed to spend more time with family and resigned recently, the move was made to hire Messer, who helped Xavier to six straight state titles.
The last three seasons Xavier has finished in the top 25 nationally in the final season rankings.
"Coach Messer brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the program," Desert Vista athletic director TJ Snyder said. "We are looking forward to a great season."
Chrsitofis, who contemplated coming back until January, said toward the end of last season that he wouldn’t walk away from the program unless he knew the program would be in good hands.
Messer serves as faculty in exercise physiology at Mesa Community College and holds a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Arizona State University.
In the release sent from Desert Vista to the Tempe Union School District it stated that Messer was “extremely privileged to have the opportunity to serve as the head coach for girl’s cross-country at Desert Vista High School and looks forward to building on the strong foundation of academic, service, and athletic excellence that characterizes this outstanding program.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.