La Quinta High School issued the following statement following the release and speculation of the firing of former head football coach, Dan Armstrong.
"La Quinta High School Principal Rudy Wilson, Ed.D., his staff, and students wish to thank Dan Armstrong for his 23 years as a leader in the school’s sports programs as athletic director and football coach. Coach Armstrong’s retirement at the end of the 2016-2017 school year was met with understanding and the sharing of best wishes for a man who had decided to move from the day-to-day athletic department responsibilities and demands of coaching. It was also met with nostalgia as players, both current and former, remembered the many championships that the Blackhawks brought home under the coaching of Dan Armstrong.
Following the June 2017 announcement of Armstrong’s retirement, a search took place for a new head football coach. When a suitable replacement was not found, Armstrong agreed to serve as a walk-on coach for the 2017-2018 season, once again leading the LQHS football team to the playoffs. This service will always be remembered and appreciated. At the end of this, the 2017-2018 football season, a search for a permanent replacement was begun. Dan Armstrong’s leadership, both on and off the field, will remain legendary at both La Quinta High School and Desert Sands Unified School District. The retired athletic director and celebrated coach and the new LQHS principal have different visions for the administration of the football program into the future.
“Coach Armstrong’s willingness to step in during the past season will be another of his legacies,” said La Quinta High School Principal Rudy Wilson, Ed.D. “He leaves behind a strong tradition of not just victories but the belief that athletes are students first and athletes second, and that sportsmanship is the ultimate win,” Wilson said, “and I look forward to standing on the LQHS sidelines with him to cheer on the next generation of Blackhawks.”
Coach Armstrong issued his own response following this release, "I’m pleased that Dr. Wilson and DSUSD have issued a statement clarifying my departure as La Quinta Football Coach. There will always be differing opinions on how a football program should be run. I would have liked to go out differently, and maybe had some say in my successor, but life goes on. I will always be proud of the program we have developed, and always cherish my years at La Quinta. If there is a "silver lining" in all of this it is the tremendous outpouring of support from the Blackhawk family! It is truly humbling! I am still very passionate about coaching and look forward to any future opportunities that may exist. I thank everyone who has ever been a part of this incredible adventure. Go BLACKHAWKS!"