Chapter closes in Glenwood hockey |

Chapter closes in Glenwood hockey

Joelle Milholm
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent Photo/Kara K. Pearson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” In 1997, Tim Cota came to Glenwood Springs and helped build the Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey Association (GSYHA) from the ground up. He helped coach and build the foundation for the club, which now fields six teams with dozens of kids ranging from age 4 to 18.

Now Cota is headed to another program, with hopes of bringing the same kind of growth and success. Cota has signed on to coach the club team at Mesa State College in Grand Junction. The team is currently an independent team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, but Cota is hoping to bump the squad up to Division III.

After more than a decade with the Grizzlies, Cota ” who coached all levels in the program, but most recently has been in charge of the Midget program (high school aged players) admitted leaving the team won’t be an easy thing to do.

“I considered it last year, but I didn’t want to leave Glenwood and this year I didn’t really want to leave Glenwood, either, but I have been thinking about coaching at the collegiate level the past five or six years and the opportunity came up and I took it,” Cota said. “It is a new venture for me. I was not looking forward to leaving Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey. I love the people and the organization.”

The organization has the same love for Cota, who has been coaching hockey for 16 years. GSYHA has already found a replacement for Cota ” Jon Thompson will now be in charge of the Grizzlies Midget team and Timothy Kwiatowski will be the club’s new director ” but Cota’s absence leaves a big hole.

“It is hard to imagine Glenwood Hockey without Tim Cota behind the bench. I have every confidence that TK and Jon will take us where we need to go, but he was the heart and soul of this program,” said Jim King, the vice president of GSYHA, whose son Brian played for Cota for six years. “Tim does a lot behind the scenes and is a mentor to these kids. I know some of them don’t have dads and he does a lot for them and makes sure they are good citizens.”

Peter Tibbetts, the first-year president of GSYHA, only worked with Cota for a year, but as a father of a player who suited up for Cota, quickly found out the high caliber of Cota’s coaching.

“I had to wait a while for my kids to reach Midget and play for Tim and last year it happened and was worth the wait,” Tibbetts said. “You can’t really understand the impact he has until you are part of his team and see all that he does. He is wonderful.”

Cota plans to continue living in Glenwood Springs and running his Gopher Irrigation and Landscaping business. He will commute to Grand Junction for practices three times a week and travel with the team for all its away games. Cota’s main responsibilities with Mesa State will be all of the on-ice preparation for games and practices, while another coach will handle recruiting.

Mesa State is playing a 52-game schedule this year against a mix of other club teams and some Division III teams. Cota is hoping the packed schedule will help the team transition to Division III.

When he is available, he’s hoping to catch some Grizzly games in Glenwood, but knows being in the bleachers will be different than being on the bench as a coach.

“I still want to be involved with Glenwood Springs hockey from an outside level,” he said. “It will take some time to get used to watching as a fan.”

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