Vern Friedli, who coached Amphitheater High School to the 1979 state football championship and coached a then-state record 331 victories, died Friday in Tucson. He was 80.
The man who began his coaching career at Sunnyside Junior High School in 1961, the son of a lumberjack from Northern California, is the last Tucson coach to win the state championship at Arizona's highest level of competition.
Friedli retired from Amphi after the 2011 season; he suffered multiple strokes over the last few years.
He was hired at Amphi in April of 1976, succeeding Jerry Loper, who coached the Panthers to the 1975 state championship.