Higley High School head football coach Eddy Zubey has committed to be an assistant coach in the Under Armour All-America Game.
Established in 2008, the Under Armour All-America Game has been one of the premier All-Star games for some of the most talented players in the country, several of which went on to play in the NFL.
It will be the second year in a row Zubey will coach in a postseason All-Star game. Last year, he was the defensive coordinator for the West team in the All-American Bowl, previously known as the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
“To be recognized to coach in these national All-American games is huge,” Zubey said. “It’s a big accomplishment for me, our football program and Higley High School.
“It’s a testament to how far our program has come and all the hard work everyone involved put in to get to this point.”
Several Arizona coaches have been a part of postseason All-Star games in the past. Pinnacle coach Dana Zupke coached alongside Zubey in last year’s All-American Bowl. Saguaro coach Jason Mohns was the offensive coordinator for the West team in 2017 and the head coach in 2018.
Former Chandler coach and current Arizona State running backs coach Shaun Aguano was the offensive coordinator in last year’s Under Armour game. Aguano also coached in the Army All-American Game and Semper Fidelis Bowl.
Zubey joins Aguano as the only coaches from Arizona to coach in the Under Armour All-America Game and the All-American Bowl.
“The All-America Bowl was first class, they really took care of us,” Zubey said. “We had clothes, we had stuff to do, we were always fed. It was an awesome experience and I’m excited to see what the Under Armour game has to offer.”
Zubey coached former Higley standout and Ty Robinson, who won the Curley Culp Award for best defensive lineman in the state in 2018 and signed with Nebraska, in the All-American Bowl last year. This year, he will attend the game with Higley senior defensive end Jason Harris, though the two are unsure if they will end up on the same team.
They will find out which team they will be part of before heading to Orlando, Fla. on Dec. 27.
“I hope it doesn’t come down to me being against him,” Zubey said, laughing. “But if that’s how it turns out then I know all of his moves.”
Zubey led Higley to an 8-4 record this season and appeared in the 5A quarterfinals. The Knights started the year with two straight losses but rattled off seven straight wins and were in the conversation to be one of eight teams in the inaugural Open Division playoffs.
He will now have the opportunity to coach under NFL Hall of Famer Deion “Prime Time” Sanders or longtime head coach Steve Mariucci, both of whom are the head coaches for the Under Armour teams.
“Being a defensive-minded guy, I would love to coach under Deion Sanders, I love ‘Prime Time,’” Zubey said. “Obviously Steve Mariucci is a great coach as well so either one would be fun. But for me watching football growing up, I want to meet ‘Prime Time.’”
All practices will be broadcasted on ESPN leading up to kickoff of the nationally televised Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 2 at 4 p.m. local time from Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
Having been a part of another All-Star game last season, Zubey expects to have the same type of experience and make the same connections this year.
“Just to meet some of the top coaches in the nation and pick their brains on how they do things, it was awesome,” Zubey said. “We have a group text, Dana Zupke is a part of it, and we still text to this day. Jeremy Hill is the head coach of Orem High School in Utah and he just won his third state championship in a row. We were all texting him before the game and he was sending us pictures.
“To create that type of bond with guys I would have never met has been great.”