It took Mingus Union High School Athletic Director Mike Boysen a few months to find the right person to fill the head coaching vacancy in the track and field program, but the best guy for the job was unknowingly right under his nose.
Yancey DeVore, a 41-year-old Cottonwood resident and U.S. history teacher at Mingus for eight years, expressed interested in the track and field job one day to Boysen and before he knew it, he was hired.
“I knew there was an opening, and I casually asked our athletic director one day about it. He asked if I was interested, and I told him I would pray about it for two days and get back to him,” DeVore said. “I discovered it was the direction the Lord wanted me to go.”
DeVore said Boysen was a bit surprised by the interest but was glad to name him Mingus’ next head track and field coach.
For the past eight years, DeVore has walked the sidelines in the fall for the Mingus football program, working under Bob Young.
He coached junior varsity baseball last spring and was thinking he would be interested in the varsity baseball job when Kent Winslow left last summer.
Track and field seemed to be the better option, and DeVore feels he made the right choice.
DeVore graduated from Mayer High School in 1990 having lettered in three sports including football, basketball and baseball.
DeVore was an All-State running back in his day and an All-Region basketball player at guard for longtime Mayer Head Coach Roland Medina.
After high school, DeVore attended Eastern Arizona Community College and walked on to play football before injuring his knee, which eventually ended his playing career.
DeVore transferred to Northern Arizona University where he earned his degree in criminal justice and graduated in 1997.
He took a job in the Flagstaff Police Department and was a beat cop for three years before deciding it just wasn’t for him.
“It was a good job, I just figured out I didn’t want to be a beat cop for 20 years. It has its challenges but I’m glad I made the decision to move on,” DeVore said.
Eventually, DeVore went back to school after working two years with his wife in a Christian ministry. DeVore earned a postbaccalaureate degree from Arizona State University and was certified by the state of Arizona to be a teacher.
DeVore was hired by Mingus to teach social studies in 2004.
DeVore and his wife Jennifer have two children — 15-year-old Keenan and 12-year-old Hannah — and the family plans on sticking around awhile.
In his spare time, DeVore likes to go camping and hiking at national parks all over the country.
“We have a pop-up camper and we go hiking and camping. It’s great. We love it,” DeVore said.
DeVore and his wife also teach junior high Sunday school at a local church.
For now, DeVore is excited to be the next Mingus track and field head coach, and he hopes he can take the program to the next level.
“It’s a big learning curve for me right now, but I think this will be a great opportunity,” DeVore said.
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