Originally from Phoenix, Young came to Cottonwood in 1986 and for the most part, has stayed to not only raise a family of his own, but a family of athletes that have spread across the country.
Since graduating from Camelback High School in the late ’70s when Phoenix was still somewhat a one-road city, Young has had quite a life in sports as an athlete himself, and as a coach.
Young knew in high school he wanted to become a coach, and knew he had to become a teacher to do so.
Before getting into coaching, however, Young attended Arizona State University and was a three-year varsity letter winner for the Sun Devils baseball team from 1980-82.
This was the same team Barry Bonds, Major League Baseball’s home run king and most famous ASU alum, played for a few years later.
After a few years of coaching football, basketball and baseball in the Dysart School District at the junior varsity level, Young decided to try the college game.
“I went to South Mountain Community College for one year. After that, I decided high school was for me,” Young said laughing.
Young made it to Cottonwood, taking an opportunity from a little known 4A school named Mingus and the rest, as they say, is history.
Softball was the first head coaching job Young took at Mingus, but he transferred to baseball after one season and stuck with it for eight years.
In 1995, Young was named head football coach, but he doesn’t give credit to himself for the program’s turnaround.
“Bill Rudolph was the one responsible. Mingus football was a joke then, winning one or two games a year. They just didn’t compete at all. Bill convinced the players then to work hard in the offseason in the weight room and after a few years, the Marauders started to become a respectable team,” Young said.
In the 25-plus years Young has coached at Mingus, whether it was football, baseball, basketball or softball, he still believes the best team he’s ever been around was the 1997 4A state championship football team that finished the season 10-0-1.
“That team just clicked, they came together at the right time. The freshmen worked their butts off for four years, and when they were seniors, they were rewarded,” Young said.
Young isn’t the only family member with success in sports. His oldest son Spencer Young was an All-Arizona baseball star and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays and played with them for a few years in the late 1990s.
Young is currently on his third stint as the head baseball coach at Mingus, having left twice for various reasons, and his second stint with the football team.
In that time, Young has won 11 regional championships with football and more with baseball while earning one state championship in each sport, football in 1997, and baseball in 2009.
In 1997, Young won his 150th game as a head coach in football, and he brought his win total into the 180s after this season.
What’s the reason for all this success? Young has the answer.
“Having high expectations is one thing, but having kids willing to pay the price is the biggest tool to success. If they buy in to our system, things will work just fine,” Young said.
For now, Young is happy where he is and isn’t planning on leaving any time soon. He says the Cottonwood community and Mingus is where he wants to be, and he believes it will stay that way for a long time.
“This is my home, it’s my family’s home and we like it here,” Young said.