‘Chap Town’ Tabs Top Bird to Stay in Nest

Arizona Sports News online

At one point of another every high school program goes through a transition.

Traditional in-state power Scottsdale Chaparral is no different.

After head football coach Conrad Hamilton left earlier this month to join Todd Graham’s staff at ASU the Firebirds narrowed their short list through interviews the past couple weeks.

Thursday afternoon the school made it official selecting Thomas Lewis as Hamilton’s full-time replacement.  Potential names linked to the opening included a few long-time, established coaches from around the Valley but the general consensus from inside the ‘Chap Town’ family was Lewis would be the most natural transition and best fit taking over for Hamilton.

Well-respected by both players and parents, many credit him for kick-starting the Firebirds’ offense after he began calling plays last season. Chap, coming off a 9-3 season last fall and despite losing some key pieces defensively and at wide receiver, are expected to field another solid team this year with seasoned upperclassmen Grayson Barry, Rashad Carter, Mason Drake, Jack Moyes and Parker Walton among others all returning.

Lewis’ low-key, hands on technique-driven approach are a few of the reasons he is well-liked within the Chaparral football community. Multiple sources confirmed he was one of a select few candidate given a second interview by the school this week.

He was an All-American wide receiver at the University of Indiana and first round pick (24th overall) of the New York Giants in 1994.

The school also hired Greg Patrick as their new defensive coordinator. He served in the same role helping lead the ‘Birds to a 2011 State Championship. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge from his professional playing days with the Detroit Lions and CFL’s Calgary Stampede and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Former NAU Lumberjack and Baltimore Raven Airabin Justin will serve as the new defensive backs coach.

Chaparral opens their season August 26th at Horizon.