High school football season is almost here and there is a new sheriff in town. So to speak.
Montezuma-Cortez High School recently announced the hiring of 30-year-old Casey Coulter as the Panthers new head football coach.
I was a candidate that was looking to start my own program. I thought that was where I wanted to go with my career, Coulter said about accepting the M-CHS football coaching position. I want to thank the (M-CHS) administration for this opportunity.
The facilities at M-CHS also made the job appealing to Coulter.
Everyone talks about how old these facilities are. Theyve got good facilities here, he said. Theyve got a great weight room. You cant ask for anything better for a high school program.
Coulter, who grew up in Canon City, is a 2005 corporate fitness graduate of Mesa State College in Grand Junction where he was a three-year letterwinner in football for Mavericks coach Joe Ramunno from 2000-03. Coulter was the special teams ace where he handled starting placekicking and punting duties for Mesa State.
He was an excellent football player for me. He was an all-around football player, Ramunno said about Coulter. He did everything in the weight room and on the field. I couldnt have asked for anything better.
Coulter has five years of coaching experience with his most recent positions as a special teams and secondary assistant coach at Mesa State last season. He was also the assistant football, baseball and wrestling coach at Grand Valley High School in Parachute last year. Prior to three years at GVHS, Coulter coached two years of 8-man football at the small Colorado school of McClave High School. He was named the head coach his second season at McClave and led the Cardinals to their first playoff appearance in 29 years.
Im really excited for him at the excellent opportunity to work with great people. Im very excited for him, Ramunno said. I think hell do a great job. I think its a great fit. I think the community there and administration made a great decision.
Coulter earned a masters degree in physical education from Alamosas Adams State College in 2009 and will teach weight training and P.E. at M-CHS. He takes over a program that was led by Chuck Cotter for three seasons. Cotter resigned to pursue a coaching and teaching job in Las Cruces, N.M., after posting a 9-19 mark in his M-CHS tenure.
The Panthers football program has struggled for the past decade mainly in the 3A Western Slope League. Last year, M-CHS moved down to the 2A Mountain League, where it will compete again this season, and posted a 3-3 league record and 4-5 overall mark. Coulter looks forward to the challenge of rebuilding M-CHS football.
I like the idea of being able to, in a way, rebuild this program to just being successful, he said. Its just getting these kids to buy in. Just getting everybody involved. Its a whole team commitment. Getting kids involved is what its all about.
The M-CHS voluntary summer football workout program is going with a full head of steam and Coulter is excited with what he has seen so far.
I like what I see out of our kids, he said. Theyre pushing themselves in the weight room. Theyre pushing each other. Its great to see. Theyre buying into what were doing and going 110 percent. I dont have time for 12 steps. I have a little over a month to get these guys ready.
Official practice begins on Monday, Aug. 15, and the first game is on Friday, Aug. 26.
Coulter comes to Cortez with girlfriend Diana Wojciechowski and looks forward to living in a new community.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at email@example.com