Football Coaches

Tom Minnick

Tom Minnick

Head Coach
928-344-7698

Now the winningest football coach in Arizona Western College history, Minnick surpassed Ray Butcher during the 2015 campaign. He is heading into his tenth season at Arizona Western, and he is the only coach in team history to lead the team to multiple NJCAA Football Championship Games (2011, 2016). He is also the only coach in AWC history to lead the Matadors to eight straight bowl appearances (2009 Mississippi Bowl, 2010 C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl, 2011-2016 El Toro Bowl), to win back-to-back-to-back conference titles (2009-11) and to win a WSFL Championship. His teams have finished in the NJCAA Top 20 in seven of his nine seasons. He coached the first Matador to receive the David Rowlands Male Student-Athlete of the Year for 2016-17 when Patrick Macon earned the honor. He has coached an NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year (Reggie Bullock in 2010) and NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year (Macon in 2016) and multiple league and/or region Players of the Year (Bullock, 2010; Damien Williams WSFL/ACCAC Offensive POY in 2011; Chris Young WSFL/ACCAC Defensive POY in 2011; Tanner McEvoy ACCAC Offensive POY in 2012; Paul Magloire ACCAC Defensive POY in 2014; Darrell Monroe ACCAC Offensive POY in 2014 and 2015, Patrick Macon WSFL Co-Defensive POY in 2016). Plus, he was named the WSFL Coach of the Year in 2011, 2014 and 2016.
For Matador fans, Minnick’s arrival in 2008 began the resurrection of the program, but for Minnick himself, it was just a continuation of the greatness he’d achieved during a long coaching career in the Midwest. Minnick came to Yuma from Joliet Junior College just outside of Chicago, Illinois, where he restored that program to national prominence in his two years as head coach with 17 overall wins (including a 10-win season in 2007), back-to-back Midwest Football Conference East Division titles and two appearances in the Graphic Edge Printing Bowl (and winning it in ‘07); and a #10 ranking in the final ‘07 NJCAA Football Poll-their highest national ranking in 5 years. Minnick’s two head coaching years at Joliet succeeded an extremely successful career as a longtime assistant to his mentor, NJCAA Hall of Fame Coach Bob MacDougall. Minnick was MacDougall’s starting quarterback at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois in 1986, his assistant at DuPage from 1990 until 1996 (helping lead them to bowl appearances all seven years and four bowl wins), and finally his assistant at Joliet from 2000 until MacDougall’s retirement in ’06, where they won 2 national championships (’01 (as NJCAA Non-Scholarship Champs) & ’02 (overall champs), put together a 21-game winning streak over 2 years, and won two bowl games. Minnick has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business at the University of Missouri-Rolla. Tom and his wife, AWC Spirit Team Coach Tiffany Minnick, will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this fall, and have two daughters, Payton and Morgan.


Jerry Dominguez

Jerry Dominguez

Defensive Coordinator / Associate Head Coach

Since 2005, there has been one main constant that opposing coaches have known to expect from a Matador Football defense: an aggressive, tenacious, nationally respected defense. That’s the by-product of the longest-tenured football coach on the staff as Jerry Dominguez begins his 13th year with the program. In 2016, that ferocious defense helped the team reach the NJCAA Football Championship Game for the second time in six seasons. The Mats were second in the nation in yards allowed per game (166.5) and points allowed per game (9.4), and forced a whopping 45 turnovers and scored seven touchdowns. Middle linebacker Patrick Macon was named the David Rowlands Male Student-Athlete of the Year as well as the NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year after terrorizing opposing offenses all season. It’s no accident that Dominguez’s defenses have pitched 13 shutouts during his 12 years (11 as defensive coordinator). He has a history of developing elite defensive talent. Former stars Korey Toomer (Idaho) and Jesse Williams (Alabama), not only went on to excel on the four-year level (Williams won a pair of national championships with the Crimson Tide), but both were drafted by the Seattle Seahawks and won Super Bowls! Former defensive end Randy Gregory became Dominguez's highest pick in the NFL draft as a second rounder in 2015. Former safety Maurice Alexander became a fourth-round pick by the Rams in 2014. Other players that have signed with NFL teams include former All-Pac 12 & Arizona State defensive lineman Luis Vasquez (Ravens), Arizona State linebacker Chris Young (Jets), Kansas safety Cassius Sendish (Browns), University of Idaho alum Jeromy Jones (Rams), Portland State’s Myles Wade (Buccaneers), Hawaii’s Zach Masch (Seahawks) and Arizona's Paul Magloire (Buccaneers). They’re part of a contingent of more than 60 players coached by Dominguez here at AWC who have gone on to play at NCAA Division I schools over that span. From 2009 through 2011, Dominguez’s defenses were tops in the WSFL (and 4th-best in the nation), allowing just under 200 yards per game in each of those seasons. Top NCAA Division I schools as Georgia, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, West Virginia, Nebraska, Wyoming, Oklahoma State and Kentucky have come calling to sign Dominguez’s defensive protégés, and that kind of success continues to stoke the fires inside for Dominguez, who has coached for more than 20 years and is also the Athletic Academic Service Coordinator for the Matador Athletic Department. The Watsonville, California, native was also a six-year assistant (five as defensive coordinator) at NCAA Division II Northern State University. Dominguez began his coaching career with two years as Secondary Coach & Special Teams Coordinator at NAIA power Bethany College in Kansas, picking up where he left off as a star player for Bethany. Dominguez has his Master’s degree in Science in Education, and has three children: two daughters, Maisey Joi & 1Melaya Evelia, and one son, Jazz Antonio.


Michael Orthmann

Michael Orthmann

Offensive Coordinator

Mike Orthmann has served as offensive coordinator at Arizona Western College for the past eight seasons, a span that has seen one of the most successful periods in the history of AWC football. From 2009–2015, the Matadors earned two NJCAA Football Championship Game berths, eight NJCAA bowl game appearances and won four WSFL championships. The 38 wins from 2009 to 2012 are the most in any four-year period in AWC football history. Orthmann’s players have been named NJCAA Region I Offensive Player of the Year four times and the Western States Football League’s Offensive Player of the Year five times. In 2010, Matador running back Reggie Bullock was named the NJCAA National Offensive Player of the Year. That season, Bullock led the nation in rushing (1830 yards) and scoring (132 points), and finished his two-year AWC career with 3247 rushing yards, the most career rushing yards in the history of the Western States Football League and 5th most all-time in the NJCAA. In 2011, Damien Williams became the second Matador in a row to lead the nation in rushing and scoring, with 1931 yards (9th best in NJCAA history) and 188 points; both are AWC single-season records. Williams finished his two-year AWC career with 2654 rushing yards, second only to Bullock. In 2012, quarterback Tanner McEvoy set AWC single-season records for touchdown passes (28), completions (156), completion percentage (64.5%) and quarterback rating (171.96), joining Bullock and Williams by being named NJCAA Region I Offensive Player of the Year. Thirteen of Orthmann’s Matador offensive players have been named NJCAA All-Americans. Prior to joining the AWC staff in 2009, Orthmann coached at eight different schools at the various NCAA and NAIA levels. Orthmann has coached numerous future NFL players, most recently EJ Bibbs (Washington Redskins). Orthmann played offensive line at the University of Idaho for Head Coach Dennis Erickson. He earned Bachelor’s Degrees in both history and education as well as a Master’s Degree in business administration from Eastern Washington University.


Tony Mitchell, Jr.

Tony Mitchell, Jr.

Defensive Line Coach

Mitchell’s tenth year with the staff will be his sixth year on the defensive line, after spending time on the offensive side of the ball. He has coached a plethora of talented defensive linemen who have gone on to succeed after AWC: Jonathan Kongbo (Tennessee), Jesse Williams (Alabama, Seattle Seahawks), Randy Gregory (Nebraska, Dallas Cowboys), Chris Cormier (Indiana), Anthony Olobia (Kansas), Chuks Amaechi (Georgia), among others. On the offensive side, it was Mitchell’s O-line that produced the holes to allow Reggie Bullock, Damien Williams & Tanner McEvoy to accumulate enough yards to win rushing titles for Bullock & Williams, and Offensive Player of the Year awards for all three. Four of his linemen in the three years were NJCAA All-Americans (Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy, Dionte Savage, David Ke’kuewa & Aaron Douglas), while seven linemen enjoyed All-Region I & All-WSFL honors during that period. Mitchell has also spent his time in between his final season with Joliet Junior College and his first season at AWC in Hamburg, Germany, coaching for the Blue Devils German Football League. Like Minnick, Mitchell calls NJCAA Hall of Fame Coach Bob MacDougall and former Hamburg Head Coach Joe Roman mentors. Mitchell has played and coached under ‘Coach Mac’., since he was a star linebacker for two MacDougall-led bowl-bound teams at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois; and then reunited with MacDougall and Minnick on Joliet’s coaching staff a decade later. In between, Mitchell ended his playing career by starting for two more years as a linebacker at Kentucky State University in 1993 and 1994. Mitchell earned his Bachelor’s degree from Governor’s State University in Illinois after earning his Associate’s degree while at the College of DuPage. Coach Mitchell is originally from Chicago, but loves his WARM home in sunny Yuma, Arizona.


Will Harris

Will Harris

Offensive Line Coach

Will Harris joined the Matadors in 2015 as a volunteer offensive line/tight end coach. He was added to the staff in 2016 to continue coaching offensive line, and the group has seen the benefit. Last season, the Mats were one of the top rushing teams in the nation behind a dominant group up front, and the team played in the NJCAA Football Championship in the El Toro Bowl while winning the WSFL.

As a player, Harris spent two seasons (2014-16) at Midwestern State University as both a left and right tackle. He helped the team win the Lone Star Conference Championship and also was honored on the All-LSC Offensive Line Second Team. Harris played at Arizona Western for two seasons (2010-12) and transitioned from tight end to left tackle. He helped the Mats win the WSFL twice, play in the 2011 NJCAA National Championship at the El Toro Bowl and play in the CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl. Plus he was named to the All-WSFL First Team and All-ACCAC Second Team at left tackle.


Aaron Rodriguez

Linebackers Coach

Coach Rodriguez joined the Matador staff in July of 2016 as a defensive assistant and video coordinator. Coach Rodriguez is a native of Arizona, born and raised in Phoenix, AZ area. He started his coaching career at Stapley Jr High, a feeder school at the time for Mountain View High School in Mesa, AZ, where he coached the freshmen team from 2006-2010. Rodriguez has coached at several other junior colleges: Scottsdale in 2014 and Iowa Western in 2015. After graduating from high school, Coach Rodriguez joined the United States Marine Corps and served on active duty as military police from 2001-2005. This will be Coach Rodriguez's second time living in Yuma, AZ as he was stationed here aboard MCAS Yuma from 2002-2004.

Coach Rodriguez has a Bachelor’s Degree in Heath Administration Management from the University of Phoenix and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Arizona State University.


Jim Ewan

Jim Ewan

Receivers Coach

Coach Ewan joined the AWC staff in February of 2017, and he brings a long history of coaching in Arizona to the Matadors. Coach Ewan was most recently the head coach at Mesa Westwood High School, and he has also been the head coach at Chandler, Glendale Mountain Ridge and Eloy Santa Cruz High Schools. Plus, he has ties to the Yuma area after working as a teacher and assistant coach at Yuma Catholic from 2012-15. He was the head coach at New Mexico Highlands University and Mesa Community College (NJCAA National Runner-up 1989). Coach Ewan has eight former players who were playing in the NFL in 2016.

Coach Ewan graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Education and completed his Master’s Degree in Counseling. He is married to Luann (retired high school English teacher); they have been married for 34 years. They have two grown daughters, Tia and Lindsey. Tia, the oldest daughter, lives here in Yuma. Lindsey, the youngest, lives in Stafford, Virginia with her husband Major Luke Esposito, USMC, and their four-year-old twins Logan and Lucy. Coach and Luann are truly the doting grandparents and are hoping their son-in-law’s next assignment is YMCAS or San Diego.


Gio Perez

Running Backs Coach

Gio Perez-Chavoya joins the Matador staff this year as the running backs coach after moving to Yuma from Washington state. He played defensive back at Mayville State University before injuries cut his career short. Gio began his coaching career in 2012 at Chief Sealth High School as the defensive backs coach and helped the team earn the school's first playoff berth in 25+ years. He spent 2013-2014 as the special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach for the Everett Red Raiders, an independent junior college program in Washington state. While there, he helped them win a pair of league championships. In 2015, he was hired at Chief Sealth High School as the varsity offensive coordinator, and the team beat cross-town rival West Seattle High School in the district playoffs. He returned to the Red Raiders in 2016 and shared offensive play-calling duties while still coordinating special teams. In addition, Gio is the founder of GridironRR.com, a recruiting website that has helped more than 250 high school and junior college prospects find scholarships since 2016. His mentor is Nick Clovsky, the defensive coordinator for the Red Raiders, and he is a childhood friend of Matador offensive coordinator Mike Orthmann. Gio has a bachelor’s degree in social studies, and his one-year old son Giovanni Perez-Markovich also loves football.


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