Sager settling in as Coal Ridge’s new head coach
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado – If Kyle Sager had any doubts he and his family made the right decision to move to Colorado, where he’s taking over as Coal Ridge High School’s new head football coach, they surely disappeared the moment they rolled into town.
“When we pulled up in our Ryder truck, the players were there to help unload the trucks,” the young coach recalled. “This community’s been very great for us. It’s been a blessing to make the move.”
The Sagers – Kyle, wife Maurin and daughters Londyn and Brielle – moved from Surprise, Ariz., in early June.
So far, so good.
“We love the area,” said the 31-year-old Kyle, whose wife is due to give birth to the couple’s third daughter in October. “I’m very happy we made the move. My wife loves the area. The kids, too. The biggest thing was just moving to a place where the kids could go play all the time, where you don’t have the heat of Arizona.”
Sager brings more than just his family to Colorado. He brings a lifetime of football experience.
Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., is where Sager prepped. He went on to play at the University of San Diego, where he spent a season at defensive tackle and three campaigns as an offensive guard.
Sager graduated from the Southern California university in 2004 with a degree in mathematics, a subject he teaches at Coal Ridge.
From USD, Sager returned to his high school alma mater to begin his coaching career. He went on to coach at Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek, Ariz., and, most recently, at Willow Canyon High School in Surprise.
Coal Ridge is his first head coaching gig. He’s inheriting a program that’s eager to both win and erase memories of a 2011 season riddled with discipline issues.
“I think they want to make this community proud of them,” he said. “They’re hungry to kind of instill that pride, to have people want to come to the school and watch them play. I know a lot of these players want to leave a tradition, and I think a lot of these players have a bad taste in their mouths about what happened last year.”
Sager brings the football knowledge to spur a turnaround, senior Austin Reed said.
“He does bring a lot to the table. I’m from the south [Arkansas], where football’s deep, and he’s taught me a lot. I came to this school knowing a lot before, but he’s taught me a lot about our offense, what to run, how to pull, and he’s really good about talking to us. It helps us get the plays down really good.”
Sager began establishing communication with his new set of players immediately after pulling up in that aforementioned Ryder truck.
Summer workouts and camps have gone a long way in forging an instant bond.
“We’ve been working with them all summer,” Sager said. “We’ve been averaging about 35 kids a day. They’ve been pretty committed to this new coaching staff, showing up and learning and being coachable. It’s really helped, I think. We’re a lot further along now than I ever thought we would be at this time.”
The next challenge: making the community proud with a winning season.
“Last year, they didn’t have a good team, but the talent didn’t lack,” Sager said. “There were things the kids had to persevere through. With the talent we have and the young kids coming up, hopefully that will push us in the right direction. We have the talent. We just need to focus it.”
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