Amphitheater High School football coach Vern Friedli congratulates his players as the clock winds down against Mesa High School to win the 1979 Arizona state football championship on Dec. 6, 1979. Photo by Joe Vitti / Arizona Daily Star

Amazingly, it was the only state title for coach Vern Friedli, whose 331 victories led all Arizona coaches when he retired. The Panthers beat Mesa 27-0 for the championship. 


Greg graduated from Utah State, worked at two Utah newspapers, the St. Petersburg Times, the Albany Democrat-Herald in Oregon and moved to Tucson to cover UA football and baseball. He became the Star's sports columnist in 1984.