Jessica Slaughter named Gila Ridge's next head football coach
YUMA, Ariz., (KYMA, KECY) - Gila Ridge Hawks Football makes local sports history.
For the 1st time in the history of Yuma Union High School District Athletics, a female coach is taking the reigns of an entire football program.
YUHSD announced this week that Jessica Slaughter is named as the new head coach of Hawks Football.
She's no stranger to the program, as Slaughter has been involved as the head coach of the Freshman football team for 3 seasons, before becoming the defensive line coach this past year.
The 27-year old is also a Gila Ridge graduate who also has experience as the head track and field coach for the Hawks.
Even though she understands and embraces the historical precedence of her hiring, Slaughter wants to give all her focus and attention to moving the Hawks football program forward.
"So, I understand that it's a historical event being named a varsity football coach as a female in a male dominated field. I understand that it's historic. People saying that it's trailblazing. But honestly, to me, my focus is on the kids. I'm not here for any sort of, you know, historical moment. I'm here to just work with the kids and help to make them better football players and better people in general. So that's what my focus is on. It's not about me at all, it's always about the kids of the program."Jessica Slaughter - Gila Ridge Hawks Head Football Coach
Slaughter is only the 3rd female to become a head football coach at the prep level in all of the state of Arizona.
She is also the 4th consecutive Hawks football coach that's taken the reigns of the program before the age of 30; after the previous coaching eras of Tyler Kosel, Corey Semler and John Ellegood.