Coal Ridge welcomes coach
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado ” It’s been a few years since Scott Parker has been calling the shots on the sidelines of the football field. So when the chance came up to get back out there, the Craig native took it.
Parker has filled the opening at Coal Ridge High School and will take over for Jim Hoffman, who retired at the end of the Titans’ fall season. Coal Ridge, which played only its second season at the varsity level last year, won its first game in the program’s history during the season. Parker, who is currently teaching at Moffat High School, will look to add more wins.
“This was a great chance to get back into football and for us to stay on the Western Slope,” said Parker, who will be moving to the area with his family this summer. “There are lots of really good things at Coal Ridge and a lot of potential.”
Parker will also be a special education teacher at CRHS starting in the fall.
After coaching football for the Bulldogs in Moffat County, he served as an assistant coach for Fort Morgan in the late ’90s and early 2000s when the Mustangs went 50-4 with one state title and a runner-up finish. His latest football coaching gig came in 2002 when he was the head coach at Hayden High School. Since then, Parker has served as a baseball and basketball coach at Moffat County.
Coal Ridge athletic director Rick Schmitz was happy to find Parker and thinks he’s a perfect fit for the Titans both on and off the field.
“He comes with high, high recommendations in that area (teaching) as well as football,” Schmitz said. “We are very fortunate to have a teacher that is a coach.”
Now that Coal Ridge has cycled through its first senior class and has more experience under its belt, Parker is hoping to make the program one of the best in the Class 2A Western Slope League.
“That I-70 corridor has produced a lot of great football programs, and we are going to try and add another one along that corridor,” he said.
Parker said he has toured Coal Ridge and even met the football team and is excited to start working with the players. He plans to have a team camp at Coal Ridge this summer to starting getting the Titans used to the new system. While some coaches prefer taking over either the offensive or defensive duties and giving some of the responsibilities of the other to assistant coaches, Parker likes to have a hand in what happens on both sides of the ball.
“To be a good offensive coach, you have to know about defense and to be a good defensive coach, you have to know about offense,” he said.
Coal Ridge is now dialed in with a head coach for its program, but two area schools are still looking in Rifle and Roaring Fork. Rifle, a Class 3A team who has 11 consecutive playoff appearances under its belt, has an opening after Damon Wells stepped down for personal reasons.
Roaring Fork is also looking for someone to take the reigns for its football team after two-year head coach Mike Brinson was forced to step down to spend more time working for his photography business. The Rams were one of the top teams in the Class 2A Western Slope until last season when they struggled with numbers and finished with a 3-6 record.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.