Blair runs an effective show at Coal Ridge
Walking up and down the sidelines, Brian Blair’s demeanor does not change. Whether his Titans are winning or losing, whether the game is being played on the basketball court or on the soccer field, he remains calm and collected.It’s rare for him to raise his voice, unless he is giving instruction to a player on the far side of the field or court. His players look up to him. As a teacher, they learn from him, but he’s also a mentor passing along his love for honest competition. When Coal Ridge opened for the 2005-06 school year, Blair began his teaching and coaching career. He signed on as an assistant coach for the boys and girls’ soccer teams, as well as for the boys basketball squad.Last year, Blair took over as head coach of the boys soccer team mid-season, and then took the reins for the girls soccer team in spring. This year, he also found himself in the head role on the basketball court in the middle of the season.Just like that, the head coach of three varsity teams. This school year, the Titans qualified for the postseason in five team sports – an outstanding feat considering not even one had made it in the past. As a school, in only its third year, with athletic teams having harsh expectations thrust upon them, the young coach has played a pivotal role in the rise of the Titans.Blair coached two of the playoff-bound squads in a whirlwind year where Blair missed the first few girls soccer games because he was guiding the boys hoops team through districts and into regionals.He then joined the Titan girls and led them to a Class 3A Western Slope League runner-up performance.On Saturday, after the Coal Ridge girls soccer team lost to Denver Christian in the first round of districts and ended its season, Blair was finally able to take a deep breath and reflect.”It has been fun,” said Blair, who’s from the Front Range and played soccer at Aurora Central High School. “I am definitely going to take some days off to rest. But you coach and you play for the camaraderie, but you also like to have this opportunity to see how you compare to all the rest of the schools in 3A.”Blair decided not to apply for the head coach position for the boys basketball team next year, choosing instead his self-described forte in soccer. With only a small contingency of seniors this year, Coal Ridge’s future is full of possibility. With Blair running the show, the soccer field has become the place where that possibility turns into reality.Contact Joelle Milholm: firstname.lastname@example.org
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