After spending the past five seasons as the offensive coordinator at Eagle High, Scott Criner decided he was ready to be a head coach again.
The Rocky Mountain football community couldnt be happier.
Criner, 53, was named the Grizzlies new coach Tuesday. He takes over for Jason Warr, who resigned after last season.
I think there are some great jobs here in the state, and I thought Rocky was one of them, Criner said.
Ive had the chance to watch (Eagle coach) Paul Peterson do a tremendous job. I felt like Id like to emulate some of the things that hes done with some of the things that Ive done in the past, kind of mix those two. I was just ready for the next challenge, ready to go to another level.
Criner arrives at Rocky Mountain with a hefty résumé.
He served as a head coach at Timberline High from 2002 to 2004, where he was 17-11 and led the Wolves to their first winning season and first playoff game.
His stops as an assistant coach include Boise State, Sacramento State, Northern Arizona and the XFL professional league.
In five seasons as Eagles coordinator, the Mustangs went 47-10, winning a state championship in 2009. Criner helped mold the careers of Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly and BYU quarterback recruit Tanner Mangum.
Criners father, Herb, is a former Boise State associate athletic director and assistant football coach. His uncle, Jim, was Boise States head coach from 1976 to 1982, winning the 1980 NCAA Division I-AA national championship.
Herb has offered to help his son with Rocky Mountains defense.
I told him Id have to go to his last employer to get a reference, the younger Criner said.
Criner takes over a Rocky Mountain program that advanced to the state playoffs last season, and returns a bevy of talent this fall, including quarterback Riley Bradshaw, running back Jason Crimmins and All-Idaho defensive backs Kekoa Nawahine and Khalil Oliver.
Rocky Mountain Athletic Director Troy Rice said Criner will be formally introduced to players and parents Thursday. Criner who is assembling his staff was chosen from more than 30 applicants.
We feel like we got a great coach, Rice said. Were excited for the future.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX