High School Football

One of Idaho’s top football coaches leaves prep team two weeks before practice starts

Rocky Mountain football coach Scott Criner is leaving the program to become the activities director at Eagle High.
Rocky Mountain football coach Scott Criner is leaving the program to become the activities director at Eagle High. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Rocky Mountain High football coach Scott Criner is leaving the program to become the activities director at Eagle High.

Criner’s hire is pending school board approval, Eagle Principal Terry Beck said.

Criner has been the Grizzlies’ football coach since 2013. He won the program’s first state championship in 2015.

“Here’s the bottom line: Financially for me moving from a teaching position to an admin position is almost a 60 percent raise,” Criner said. “Financially, I can do stuff for my family. I’ve been doing stuff for other families for years, and 97 percent of all those families like me, and 3 percent don’t.

“My family at home, they all like me, so it’s time for me to go do something that’s good for my family.”

Before taking over at Rocky Mountain, Criner was the offensive coordinator at Eagle for five seasons under Paul Peterson.

Criner also has been the offensive coordinator at Sacramento State and had previous stints as an assistant at Boise State, Navy, Cincinnati and Pacific. He was the receivers coach for the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL from 2000 to 2001.

Criner went 38-9 at Rocky Mountain and has a career record of 55-21.

“The timing sucks, but I also know that there are some outstanding coaches on that staff,” Criner said. “They’ll continue to build the program and add their flavor to it. The kids love the coaches we have.”

Criner replaces Kimber Chrz, who is now an assistant principal at Eagle.

The Grizzlies are expected to be one of the top teams in the 5A classification this season with the return of All-Idaho first-team running back Carter Kuehl, who committed to Air Force on Sunday night.

“We’re just going to keep on going. That’s what (Criner) taught us to do, no matter what. The team’s not about one person,” said left tackle Keeghan Freeborn, who has offers from Boise State, Weber State, Montana State, Idaho and Air Force. “We wish the best for him, but we are going to keep moving on and just keep going hard.”

In June, Maxpreps chose Rocky Mountain as its preseason pick for the best squad in Idaho in 2017.

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @byrachelroberts

  Comments