Todd Fazio returns to high school basketball as Highland coach - Richard Obert, azcentral sports

Todd Fazio needed a year away from high school.

He could watch the game, he said, through a different lens, build some relationships, and "recharge the batteries."

Fazio is now ready to return, accepting the head boys basketball coaching position at Gilbert Highland.

He replaces Derrick Donaldson, who led the program since 2010. The Hawks went 10-18 last season. Donaldson last had a winning season in 2015-16, going 14-13. Before that, it was 2012-13 at 18-10.

Fazio led Scottsdale Desert Mountain to a state championship in 2007. He left Desert Mountain in 2013 because of a lack of job stability in the Scottsdale Unified School District, landing a teaching job and head coaching position at Mesa Red Mountain.

Fazio was head coach at Red Mountain for four seasons before stepping down last year, wanting the challenge of helping youths develop the skills needed before entering high school.

He stopped teaching at the end of last school year and committed himself to Roots Hoops Academy. He said he will still run that academy while coaching at Highland.

"I had a blast with the kids and families in the program this year and it was fun to see it grow," Fazio said. "I am looking forward to continuing to work with youth. I will not be teaching full time at Highland.

"I will continue to run my youth program in Gilbert and Phoenix. I have been able to connect with some people through Roots Hoops and I am looking forward to what we have coming in the future. We have some exciting things coming that will benefit young people in the community through basketball. I am ready to get back in (high school coaching). Maybe a little more than my wife but she is, like always, very supportive and looking forward to this new journey."

Fazio said the year away from high school helped him build relationships that he wouldn't have been able to do if he were still teaching and coaching.

"I missed practice, competing, postseason preparation, but most of all, the relationships with players and experiencing the ups and downs of a season with my guys," Fazio said. "I really missed interacting with my players. It had to be the right situation for a head job and after talking with Rod Huston (Highland's athletic director) and knowing how Steve McDowell (Gilbert district AD) does things, talking to coaches, being familiar with the community, it was a no-brainer for me."



OUR PROGRAM ..... OUR WHY - We inspire Student-Athletes to give a Championship Effort on and off the court empowering them to be leaders by being - Relentless, Enthusiastic, Selfless and Trusting (REST)


THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS - Coach Fazio and the players would like to thank all of the sponsors that have contributed to the success of the program. Check out our SPONSORS page and please patronize these businesses if you are in need of their products or services.

HELP THE PROGRAM - HELP YOURSELF - The Arizona Tax Credit Program (A.R.S. 43-1089.01) allows Arizona taxpayers to donate up to $400 to a school of their choice in support of a specific extracurricular program and get their entire donation back in the form of a tax credit.

Earmark your donation for the Hawk Boys Basketball Program and all proceeds will directly benefit the team. For more tax credit information visit the Gilbert District t at TAX CREDIT,  Contact your tax advisor for more information.





4301 E. Guadalupe Road
Gilbert, AZ 85234
Phone: (480) 813-0051