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Larry Fetkenhier, Vern Friedli and Jesse Parker Inducted into AzFCA Hall of Fame

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

The Arizona Football Coaches Association (AzFCA) is pleased to announce the 2020 Hall of Fame Inductees. Former coaches Larry Fetkenhier, Vern Friedli and Jesse Parker will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club’s (GCSGC) 2020 Ed Doherty Award Luncheon on January 9, 2021 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The purpose of the Arizona Football Coaches Hall of Fame is to celebrate and honor Arizona high school football coaches who have posted distinguished careers and a life-long commitment to the development of young people by teaching leadership, values, victory and success.

“These inductions perfectly align with other awards that will be given at the Ed Doherty Award Luncheon, all celebrating the various levels of investment and commitment required to elevate the game in Arizona,” said Rick Wellbrock, President of the AzFCA. “Sharing the induction ceremony at the luncheon provides players, families and boosters from across the state the opportunity to participate in celebrating the fundamental values, attitudes and behaviors that these coaches embody.”

GCSGC and AzFCA teamed up in 2019 to create the Arizona Football Coaches Hall of Fame. The inaugural class included former Coaches Ed Doherty and Paul Moro.

“All of the men in this exclusive fraternity knew and understood the direct connection between the health and safety of high school athletes, encouragement of student body participation in on-campus activities, and the vibrancy of all levels of the community,” said Don Kile. “When high school students are actively involved in the on-campus programs available to them, their communities become stronger, healthier and more unified. These three coaches are great examples of the leaders and coaches that we celebrate for their commitment and dedication to the development of our young people.”

About Larry Fetkenhier

Larry Fetkenhier came to Arizona from Michigan in 1984, and was the head football coach at Cactus High School until his retirement in 2017. He logged 331 wins and two state championships in five championship games. Coach Fetkenhier was known for training exceptional quarterbacks and developing explosive offensive teams. Fetkenhier's powerful personality and dedication to a positive approach to developing character led many former players to college play and pursuing coaching careers.

He was inducted in to the Arizona Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005, and the National High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2017.

About Vern Friedli

When Vern Friedli retired in 2012, he had won 331 games, 288 of those in 36 years at Amphitheater High School in Tucson. Friedli was well known for his ground-pounding wishbone offenses which produced some of the state's most outstanding high school running backs. Coach Freidli was a hard-nosed guy who kept the press media on their toes with straight talk and unfiltered comments.

Coach Friedli passed away in 2017, and is remembered by his peers as a sincere mentor, one of the greatest coaching personalities and toughest competitors in Arizona high School football history.

About Jesse Parker

Coach Jesse Parker's high school football coaching career spanned three decades with stops at Camelback, Mesa Mountain View, and Gilbert High Schools. In the midst of his career he also coached in Texarkana, Texas. Parker and his teams were well-known for toughness, discipline and fair play.

During his career Parker's teams won five state championships in eight appearances. He ended his career with 309 wins and was named as the Arizona Coaches Association Coach of the Year four times. Parker was inducted into the Arizona Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 1989, and the National high School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2011.

Coach Jesse Parker passed away in 2017, soon after Mesa Mountain View honored him by naming their football stadium after him during the 2016 season opener.

About the Ed Doherty Award Luncheon

The 2020 Ed Doherty Award Luncheon will activate mandatory masks, temperature checks for all guests, restricted ticket availability to ensure a reduced gathering size, and outdoor stadium seating to create and maintain social and physical distancing. This event would normally be hosted indoors and bring together more than 400 attendees, including award nominees, family, friends, coaches and fans. For tickets to the event, visit

About the Arizona Football Coaches Association

The Arizona Football Coaches Association educates administrators, teachers and football coaches on the latest professional services in order to assist student athletes in reaching their goals both in the classroom, on the field, and in life. The organization focuses on advancing high school athletic and academic competitions through governance, coaching, officiating and community advocacy. Visit to learn more.

About Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club

The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is the steward of the Ed Doherty Award and is the most meaningful advocate of high school football in the State of Arizona. The mission of the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is to represent Arizona amateur athletics by bringing national attention to the extraordinary qualities of our young people and serve in the pursuit of athletic achievement, academic advancement and greater social affinity.

About the Ed Doherty Award

For 34 years, the Ed Doherty Award has been the State of Arizona’s highest individual high school football honor and is awarded annually to the state’s most outstanding high school football player by the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club. The Ed Doherty Award recognizes the player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The winner of the award epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. In addition to on-field performance, the Ed Doherty Award recognizes the well-rounded accomplishments of community involvement, school pride, and academics.

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