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Colorado high school football’s coaching carousel is slowing down but there are still some turns remaining.
John Trahan has moved from Smoky Hill to coach at Highlands Ranch, former Arapahoe coach Mike Campbell is the new football boss at Englewood and Dustin Delaney from Shawnee Mission, Kansas has been hired at Eaglecrest.
So as of Jan. 19 there were just five Class 5A jobs to be filled at Valor Christian, Arapahoe, Mullen, Castle View and Smoky Hill.
Rod Sherman, the former coach of the state’s most prominent football program at Valor Christian, is still available.
Valor revealed on Dec. 22 in an email that Sherman was stepping down. Sherman was the Eagles’ first athletic when the school opened in 2007 and he was an assistant football coach and offensive coordinator during a string of four straight state championships between 2009 and 2012.
He became head coach in 2013 and guided the Eagles to three state championships and became the school’s director of institutional advancement in 2015. He compiled a 57-11 record as a head coach.
After the announcement, Sherman left town to coach in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio and had a chance to mull over his future.
“As far as networking with coaches, the game came at a good time for me,” said Sherman. “It was nice that I had my wife come down, and in the midst of a pretty hectic couple weeks we got the opportunity to sit and think about what is next for us.
“I’m going down the path now to stick with football. I’m looking. It is an interesting time in my life and we didn’t necessarily see it coming.”
Sherman, like a good football coach, is making adjustments in his game plan.
“There are a couple in-state schools I’m looking at and as well as some out of state,” said Sherman. “Most people thought: `If he is stepping down, he knows what is next.’ I didn’t want to get into a change-school narrative, so it is better for me not to say anything. I have a lot of respect for the Valor administration and what the school has accomplished and hopefully I played a small role in that.
“With football hirings it will probably happen in the next two or three weeks. If nothing is the right fit, I’ll look at some leadership, athletic director or fundraising things. If those doors aren’t open, I’ll coach my son’s flag football team.”
Trahan rejoins Highlands Ranch athletic director Preston Davis, who hired Trahan at Smoky Hill. He coached four seasons at Montbello (Far Northeast) and then three seasons at Smoky Hill.
He inherits a 6-5 team that made the 5A state playoffs under interim coach Dave May after a difficult start that saw Mark Robinson resign before the season opener.
Campbell, who has been head coach at Arapahoe for 15 years, was looking to downsize to a smaller school with small-town qualities.
Englewood is a 2A school with first-class renovated facilities but the Pirates haven’t had a winning football season since 2010, so he has a challenging rebuilding job.
Softball wants more games, too
The Colorado High School Activities Association has an equity committee which oversees Title IX, and the group has stated that if the limit of baseball games is increased, girls softball should also have the chance to play more games.
The Centennial and Continental Leagues have a proposal to increase the number of baseball games from 19 to 23, and that pitch will be voted on at the Jan. 25 Legislative Council meeting.
If the baseball proposal passes, the equity committee recommends the passage of an identical bylaw for softball at the April Legislative Council meeting.
Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-566-4083.
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