ST. GEORGE — Dixie High’s football program has been the class of 3A (and 3AA) the past few seasons, winning a pair of state titles and producing a high-scoring offense nearly unmatched in Utah prep gridiron action. And Andy Stokes, who was named as the school’s new head coach Monday night at the DHS football banquet, has been there the whole way.
Stokes, who has coached the offensive line the past few years for the Flyers as they’ve ping-ponged the football up and down the field, takes over for Blaine Monkres, who accepted the offensive coordinator job at Dixie State on Dec. 19.
“Coach Monkres set a good precedence at Dixie and we certainly want to continue to do all the good things he did,” Stokes said. “We’re going to work very hard and we want to continue to run a classy organization at Dixie High.”
Stokes said he met with Dixie principal Sharla Campbell and said he was also aware that Campbell interviewed a “couple of other” candidates for the job. But in the end, Campbell picked Stokes to take the reins at DHS.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys on this team who have a lot of growing to do,” Stokes said. “We lost a lot of seniors off that state championship team. But we have time to grow together. If we work hard, we can play at that same high level. Do I think we’re going to have an opportunity to win a state title? Who knows? But we’re going to do our best.”
Stokes said his six years as an assistant under Monkres have been incredibly valuable.
“He’s been one of my biggest mentors,” Stokes said. “As far as football is concerned, I have learned so much from him. And I know that I will be able to pick up the phone and give him a call if I ever need any advice or help with anything.”
As far as football is concerned, Stokes has been around the block a time or two. He played junior college at Dixie College under Greg Croshaw, eventually finishing his college career at William Penn University in Iowa. Stokes was drafted to the NFL in 2005 (as the final pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, earning him the title of Mr. Irrelevant) and spent some time with the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals, before being released the summer of 2006.
The 33-year-old Pine View High graduate returned to his roots in southern Utah in 2008, where he and his wife, Tia, started a family. He also began coaching as an assistant at Dixie High that year and became involved in the Dixie Rebels semipro football team as a player/coach. Eventually Stokes and good friend Wayne Alofipo became part-owners of the franchise before selling their shares of the team a couple of years ago.
“Wayne is going to stay on as defensive coordinator, but beyond that we haven’t discussed anything with anyone else,” Stokes said. “We just haven’t gotten that far yet.”
Stokes is in his second full year as a teacher at Dixie High and he instructs students in financial literacy and sociology. He and his wife have three sons, Major (6), Legend (4) and Maze (1).
The Flyers went 10-4 last season and won the 3AA state championship by defeating Hurricane 27-19 in the title game.
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