Native Son Jason Hutchens Shines Light on Unity as New AJHS Athletic Director

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - March 2, 2023 - PRLog -- Jason Hutchens, the head baseball coach and physical education teacher for Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood in Apache Junction, has been named the school's Athletic Director for the 2023-2024 school year.

Overseeing the athletic programs of 17 sports within a small school district will have its obstacles, but Hutchens is up to the challenge.

"One team is what I will be preaching to the coaches," said Hutchens when asked about his new role. "We are a small school playing above our heads in the 4A conference (the AIA places schools over 1,000 students in 4A and up and schools with less than 1000 in 3A and down). All of the coaches need to work together to ensure success for the kids and their programs."

Hutchens has worked for AJHS for three years but his AJ roots go much deeper. He moved to AJ for the first time when he was seven years. He attended Superstition Mountain Elementary from second to sixth grade and was a member of the first class of seventh graders when Apache Junction Jr High opened. He went on to graduate from AJHS in 1988.

"I have coached several places, but the nine years before I came back to AJ I was working and coaching at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert with another AJ alumnus Max Ragsdale," said Hutchens. "He got me excited about teaching and coaching in high school so I went back to school and got my teaching degree. CV was a very nice place to work and the only school that could have pulled me away from there was AJ. When the head baseball job opened I knew I had to apply. I have long felt the need to give back to the community that helped raise me."

Hutchens has been happily married for 23 years to a woman he describes as "probably the best lady in the world." Together they have three boys Tim, James, and Ryan.

One thing that many folks may be surprised to learn is Coach Hutchens is a big Disney fan. He said he escapes to the Magic Kingdom any chance he can. He even has a plan to someday get a full sleeve tattoo on his left arm with all of the Disney characters.

For now he is happy to create a rewarding experience for students and staff as the new Athletic Director. While Thomas Wolfe wrote, "you can't go home again" this phrase has not been true for Hutchens. He is determined to return to his childhood roots in AJ and grow a thriving program in the process – just like a Disney movie.

Sally Marks
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Location:Apache Junction - Arizona - United States
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