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Familiar face, new coach for Denair football
Former Coyote Anthony Armas takes over program
Denair football coach
Anthony Armas was named as Denair High's new head coach for the varsity football team. Armas graduated from Denair in 1997. - photo by Photo Contributed

A local face will be taking over the Denair High School football head coaching duties.

Denair graduate Anthony Armas was named as the new head man for the Coyote football team for the upcoming season. Armas was one of multiple candidates who applied for the open position left vacated after last year's coach, Ted Howze, resigned earlier in the spring because of his move out of town.

The 35-year-old Armas is a former lineman who graduated from Denair in 1997, and spent five years as a varsity assistant at Denair after earning his degree from CSU Stanislaus. He has been an assistant coach at Pitman High since 2008.

This is Armas’ first head coaching job at the high school level as he replaces Howze, who guided the Coyotes to a 3-7 record last fall in his only season as head coach.

“I’m a little nervous, but I think that will calm down once we get started,” said Armas. “It’s very exciting to be coming back home to Denair.”

Armas has also been involved with the Denair Youth Football League and was one of four candidates interviewed for the position.

“We had two interviewees from Stanislaus County and two from outside the region,” said Denair Athletic Director Darrin Allen. “Armas’ passion for the game and maturity impressed the selection committee. I just like the way he interacts with kids; how he talks to them and he gets them to develop on the field.”

Allen coached Armas as a player and later worked alongside him as a varsity assistant.

“He was the reason I stayed out there as an assistant line coach when I was principal at the middle school,” Allen said. “I knew then this guy was going to be a head coach. I saw the ability that he was meant to lead a team and a staff.”

Armas said that he has much to learn about his new team, a team that showed promise last fall after two seasons in the bottom of the Southern Athletic League.

“Everyone seems pretty excited about what happened last year,” Armas said. “I haven’t seen a whole lot of film, but the coaches I’ve talked to are pretty excited about some of the guys who are returning and some of the JV guys."

Armas' goals are simple.

“We’re shooting for the playoffs,” he said.

Last year’s varsity team struggled with depth. The Coyotes only had about 20 players until their final game, when they promoted some of the JV players who had compiled a 5-3-1 record for the regular season.

“I want hustle and effort... I don’t want to judge a kid too much off of film from last year,” Armas added. “I just want kids who are all in, who show up when they’re supposed to show up. Kids who are good in the classroom and who want to be coached...The guy just bleeds purple."