Apache Junction High School announced its new basketball head coaches for the 2018-19 season.
Cornelius Turner was named as the head varsity boys basketball coach, and Sam Valencia will take over the girls basketball program.
Turner is a graduate of Mesa Dobson and Tuskegee University, where he played collegiate basketball from 1998 to 2000 after playing from 1996-98 at Scottsdale Community College.
Turner, who has been coaching basketball for 14 years, is also a counselor at Desert Ridge Junior High. He previously coached at Gilbert Mesquite, Mesa Desert Ridge and the AZ Power Basketball Academy.
“Coach Turner brings a wealth of basketball knowledge and experience to our basketball program,” Dawn Schwenckert, AJHS’ athletic director, said. “Our student-athletes are fortunate to have him as their head coach. I’m looking forward to getting the season going as soon as possible.”
Valencia has been involved with coaching basketball at the high school level for 10 years, presently serving as the AJHS volleyball JV coach.
Valencia’s coaching philosophy centers around a well-rounded athlete. He said he believes academics, work ethic, morals, and attitude will drive the school’s athletes to excel on and off the court.
“Coach Valencia’s passion and enthusiasm for the game of basketball is contagious,” Schwenckert said. “We are truly fortunate to have such a high-quality coach for our program. His commitment to our athletes is unmatched and the upcoming season will be fun to watch.”
Prior to coming to AJHS, Valencia coached at Mesa Sequoia Charter School and Imagine Prep-Superstition. Last season, he served as an assistant to former Prospectors boys basketball coach Scott Stansberry.