The one thing that Wally Mueller kept saying throughout the football season for Kingman Academy was that he's not a football coach.
But the man who doesn't think of himself as a coach and was thrust into the position was honored by the Arizona Charter Athletic Association Saturday, as the league's coach of the year.
"It took me back for a minute because I never thought I would be in that position to get an award like that," Mueller said. "I'm honored, but I don't believe that I deserve it. If there is some way they could give it to those boys, that's who deserves it. They were the ones who were doing the work."
Mueller took over the KAHS football team in October following the resignation of Doug Odum. Mueller was in charge of the on-field operations while Bill McCord handled the administrative duties.
The Tigers finished the year 11-1 en route to their second state championship in three years. Mueller took over as acting head coach for KAHS' Oct. 5 game against Desert Hills after Odum was suspended for unspecified reasons by the school. Odum resigned the following week. Mueller became the interim coach and guided the Tigers to a 7-0 finish.
"It was something that needed to be done. Someone had to step up for those kids and I was the next guy in line," Mueller said. "I'm honored to get it, but I'm more appreciative of the school for putting their faith in me as well as the players."
KAHS Athletic Director Shawn Byrne has been in contact with Mueller about becoming the permanent head coach. It's something that Mueller is not ruling out, but it will all depend on his day job as a detective with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
"They are all about us being involved in the community and being positive role models in the communities that we live and work in," Mueller said of DPS. ""At the same time, they are paying me to do a job, and if I'm gone a lot because of football and if that interferes with the department's objectives, I have to remember who is paying my bills. It's a fine line right there and they were very gracious with me this year because they understood the circumstances of the school not having a coach."
Mueller said that he would notify Byrne by mid-January if he intends to come back or not.
"If they (DPS) can work out where I get to keep the schedule that I have now, then absolutely I would love to be back," he said.
Besides Mueller's award, several other KAHS athletes were honored during Saturday's CAA banquet in Phoenix.
Linemen Johnny Herrrero and Michael Higuerro were named All State on offense along with Jake Miner as running back. Joey Beale (tackle), Ty Sherwood (linebacker) and backs Westin McCord and Frankie Mueller were named All State on defense.
The Tigers also grabbed three of four spots on special teams with Herrero (kicker), Sherwood (punter) and Wyatt McCord for all-purpose.
Bobbie Barker, Ashlea Tomlinson, Maddie Stutler and Rebekah Russell were named to the 3A West All-Conference volleyball team. Barker and Stutler were named to the second team All State team.
Thomas Easter and Lily Young were named to the second team All State cross country team.