The Cottonwood High School coaching shakeup is not limited to the hiring of a new head coach.
Offensive coordinator and superbooster Scott Cate said he was informed Monday that he can no longer coach the team, due to a new Granite School District policy that doesn’t allow donors to coach.
Cate’s departure is just the latest twist in a bizarre postseason at Cottonwood that saw the head coach and an assistant resign for off-field allegations and another assistant die when he was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver on Saturday.
Also on Monday, the district announced the hiring of former Dixie State coach Greg Croshaw as its head coach.
A district statement said the donations policy, which had its first reading at the school board June 19, stems from state audits into high-profile high school football programs and is aimed at creating more transparency in donations. It will not technically go into effect until the second reading in July.
“Recognizing systemic changes that need to be made,” the statement said, “it will certainly be a change to see and hear Scott cheering from the bleachers or stands, rather than hear him bark encouragement from the sidelines at practice or during a game. In all sincerity, we thank the Cate family for their unparalleled contributions to Cottonwood High.”
Cate, a former University of Utah quarterback who built and later sold an international telecommunications company, estimated that he has donated $4 million to Cottonwood since 2000, including money for a turf field, press box, weight room and film rooms. He has served as the offensive coordinator since 2002. This year, he was expected to call plays for one of the state’s most potent offenses, led by Alabama-commit Cooper Bateman.
Cate said the policy effectively ends his association with Cottonwood. He said he may privately mentor quarterbacks or coach elsewhere.
“I’ll go somewhere else where they don’t have this rule,” he said. “The ‘Cate Rule,’ or something. Maybe I’ll start a quarterback school, or I’ll go to another district.”
Cate has not coached one of his own children at Cottonwood since 2006, when his son, Alex, was the state’s top quarterback recruit and eventually wound up at Oklahoma State.