Minnick unveils new GCCC coaching staff

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College Head Football Coach Tom Minnick talks with players as they come off the field during a game last season.  Minnick has unvieled his coaching staff for the 2021-22 season.

Cheatwood named defensive coordinator

The Garden City Community College football staff will have a different look for the 2021-22 fall season.

Head Coach Tom Minnick announced that Aaron Cheatwood, who spent the previous two seasons as the defensive line coach, will take over as defensive coordinator, Ryan Felker will call the plays on offense, and Robert Ortiz will coach the offensive line.

"We have a really good system in place from the coaches that we've had here in the past," Minnick said. "Putting Aaron in a spot to call plays was kind of a no brainer. He knows the system and learned a ton from Jerry (Dominguez).

Cheatwood replaces Dominguez, who left to become an assistant coach at Western New Mexico. And the new DC has plenty of experience to warrant the move. Before coming to Garden City, he spent two seasons as the Head Coach at Yuma Catholic High School in Yuma, AZ. Prior to that, he tutored players on both sides of the ball, working as an offensive and defensive line coach, and as an offense and defensive coordinator. Yuma Catholic played in four straight state titles and won three. He began his career working for Minnick at Arizona Western in 2007.

"I am excited for the future of this great defense we have returning," Cheatwood said. "We were one game away last year, and most of the group is returning with some big-time additions. I want to thank Coach Minnick for entrusting me with the defense and Coach Dominguez for preparing me for this opportunity."

Meantime Felker, who replaces the retired Mike Orthmann, takes over as offensive coordinator after spending the previous two seasons as the Head Coach and offensive play caller at Gila River College in Gilbert, AZ where he directed the River Hawks to a combined 14-1 record and was named conference coach of the year. 

Before that, he was the head man at Mesa Community College, going 41-32, which included a 48-42 double-overtime victory over 10-0 Lackawanna College in the 2016 Valley of the Sun Bowl. Felker also spent time as both a defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Scottsdale Community College and was the co-defensive coordinator at Eastern Arizona College for two seasons.

"It will be a different type of offense this year," Minnick said. "Ryan has had great success developing quarterbacks and playing a wide-open type of system. I look forward to working with him."

In addition, Ortiz joins Minnick's staff after teaming up with Felker at Gila River College. There, he spent two seasons as the offensive line coach. He also had coaching stints at Murrieta Valley High School in Murrieta, CA, and Mount Miguel where he served as the offensive and defensive line coach. He began his career as a student assistant at Riverside City College.

"We have some really good lineman coming back for the fall, and I am fully confident that Coach Ortiz can build a very strong unit," Minnick explained.

Following a 7-1 spring campaign, Garden City opens fall camp the first week of August before kicking off the 2021 season on Sept. 11 at Fort Scott.