"Win or lose, always play your best"
"Win or lose, always play your best"
Posted on 2014/09/12

September 2014

As we approach Homecoming week, let us travel down memory lane and pay homage to one of Moon Valley’s finest football coaches.  After all, the Moon Valley stadium where our players will compete and our crowds will cheer, is named after him.

Like many Arizonans, Earl Putman grew up elsewhere in the country, not arriving here until 1951 when he accepted a track scholarship to Arizona State University.  He proved to be a master on the track field, setting a shot put and discus record in 1951.  And of course, he played football as a Sun Devil.  The next few years were eventful as he was drafted and served in the Korean War, helped his Army football team win the All-Services Championship in 1953, and then resumed his college career after being honorably discharged.  While achieving great success in college football and track, he earned his bachelors degree from ASU and then his masters degree from Northern Arizona University.

These years helped set his legacy in motion.  Mr. Putman would go on to play professional football, becoming known as the “biggest man in football” while playing for the Chicago Cardinals. Eventually, he switched from the football field to the field of education and became a teacher.  But the game was in his heart and the call of the stadium irresistible.  Coach Putman dedicated 25 years to the Rockets football program.  He achieved 167 wins, led our team to win the League Championship four times, and seized victory in 1982 when our football team won the State Championship.

The numbers are impressive, but Coach achieved something even greater.  “The biggest man in football” had a heart to match.  Whether it was a winning season or not, every person he encountered was treated with dignity and respect.  He modeled loyalty and always upheld his ideals.  He made a difference in the lives of the people he knew​ and the spirit of his excellence lives on in Rocket Town.  Friday, September 19th, Moon Valley will go up against the Washington Rams led by our current coach, Coach Sam Jacobs.  As our athletes and coaches charge the stadium, you can bet his example will be alive and well in Putman Field.