Oct 29, 2016; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones defensive back Kamari Cotton-Moya (5) tackles Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Alex Delton (5) at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Another former Cyclone will be leading the way for an Iowa high school football program this fall.
Kamari Cotton-Moya, a safety for the Cyclones from 2014-17, is the new head football coach at Denison-Schleswig High School. This is Cotton-Moya’s first head coaching position.
“Kamari comes to the Monarch Football program with great enthusiasm, knowledge and experience of the game of football, most importantly a passion to work with the kids of the Denison Community School District,” Denison-Schleswig Activities Director Derek Fink said in a press release on Monday. “In Kamari’s short time in our school district this spring, Kamari has made a great impact on our staff and students and we are excited for him to join our football program and school district next fall.”
Cotton-Moya burst onto the scene as a freshman at Iowa State in 2014 as he earned Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year and was a first-team Freshman All-American after tallying a team-leading 77 tackles, the sixth most ever by an Iowa State freshman.
The Bakersfield, Calif. native went on to earn second-team All-Big 12 honors as a junior before being a consensus first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2017 as one of the key pieces of Jon Heacock’s rebuild of the Iowa State defense.
Cotton-Moya played in 40 games for the Cyclones, starting 38 of them, while recording 236 total tackles, 168 solo tackles, 15 passes defended, 9.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions and two interceptions returned for touchdowns.
After Iowa State, Cotton-Moya was invited to multiple NFL training camps before landing with the Atlanta Hotshots in the Alliance of American Football, which folded in April 2019. He looked for opportunities in the Canadian Football League for the following season, but elected to enter the next phase of life when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived last spring.
Cotton-Moya’s previous coaching experience came at his alma mater of Ridgeview High School in Bakersfield as well as with youth football programs and 7-on-7 teams in California and Iowa.
Denison-Schleswig went 2-6 in 2020 and lost in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs to Sergeant Bluff-Luton.