Erik Hood, who helped rebuild Phoenix South Mountain’s boys basketball program as an assistant coach the last four years, has been hired to lead Chandler AZ Compass Prep’s second national team, which competes in the Canyon Athletic Association Open Division team.
Pete Kaffey, program director, confirmed Hood’s hiring on Wednesday.
AZ Compass Prep’s second national team won the CAA Open Division title this past season.
AZ Compass Prep’s top national team ended up ranked No. 2 in the country by MaxPreps, after reaching the GEICO Nationals semifinals, losing a tight contest to eventual champion Montverde Academy in Fort Myers, Florida.
“It’s a blessing,” Hood said. “First and foremost, I’m very humbled for the opportunity. It’s a bittersweet type of deal for me being at South Mountain for four years. I was there with Coach (Jeremy) Soria and (Athletic Director) Brian Fair. I give those guys roses. Without them, this opportunity probably wouldn’t be possible.
“I have nothing but great things to say about Coach Soria and Coach (Harry) Cannon and Brian Fair, the whole faculty, staff. For whatever reason, South Mountain gets a bad rap. But if I had to grade my time at South Mountain, I would give it an A-plus, plus.”
Kaffey said Hood’s community reach, connections with college coaches and coaching ability led to his hiring.
“He knows the kids in Arizona,” Kaffey said. “He coaches hard. He’s a great community guy. We’re glad to have him in the program. He’ll help with the relationships he has with college coaches. That’s what we like about Erik.”
Hood said he looks forward to coaching elite talent and helping players develop into potential college players. He said he doesn’t anticipate recruiting “other guys’ players,” because of AZ Compass Prep’s ab8lity to attract elite-level athletes already.
“I just want to be an addition,” Hood said. “Play my role and do what is asked of me, get them scholarships.”
Support local journalism: Subscribe to azcentral.com today.