Denetso resigns, Tallbull takes over Prep football team

Navajo Preparatory School new head coach Storm Tallbull (center) monitors his players during a preseason practice this month. Tallbull moved from an assistant coach to head coach at Navajo Prep. (Times photo – Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi)

Navajo Preparatory School new head coach Storm Tallbull (center) monitors his players during a preseason practice this month. Tallbull moved from an assistant coach to head coach at Navajo Prep. (Times photo – Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi)

SHIPROCK

When Storm Tallbull needed a football family; Navajo Preparatory School gave him one.

And when the established program needed a new head coach this season, he returned the favor.

“I realized these people gave me an opportunity to coach last season and the previous coach really took me in,” Tallbull said, while noting that he felt indebted to help out.

Tallbull served as the defensive coordinator and the defensive and offensive lines coach for the Eagles during the 2014-15 season. Before joining the Navajo Prep family, he was the head football coach at Shiprock High for the 2013-14 season.

The 26-year-old coach and 2007 Shiprock graduate played for the Fort Lewis College football team in Durango, Colo., and was a defensive assistant for two years for the Skyhawks before taking the head coaching gig at Shiprock.

His lofty experience and background are why Navajo Preparatory School Executive Director Betty O’Jaye decided to bring Tallbull on board.

“Storm was one of our assistant coaches last year here at Navajo Prep,” she said. “He has a really good working relationship with the students (and) he’s very familiar with the program.”
By playing college ball, O’Jaye said it shows Tallbull loves football and that kind of commitment puts the team in good hands.

Tallbull replaces former head coach Roderick Denetso. Denetso coached the Eagles from 2011 to 2015 and led the team to three district titles along with three state playoff appearances.

O’Jaye said Denetso resigned just weeks before the season but she did not disclose the reason why. She did, however, add that he also resigned as the dean of student life.

“Coach Denetso made that choice himself,” she said. “We regret he had to leave but we will miss him.”

Categories: Football

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at sunnie@navajotimes.com.