Frederickson set to take over CR football program
Coming off of a 1-8 season and a ranking near the bottom of the state in the 3A Colorado High School Activities Association’s RPI system, the Coal Ridge Titans’ football program has a new head coach.
Bob Frederickson was recently hired as the new head coach of the Titans’ program, emerging as the top candidate in the search process that included 23 candidates sorted out through a hiring committee, headed by Coal Ridge Athletic Director Ben Kirk.
The veteran coach with 28 years of coaching experience in California, Utah and Nebraska, will make the move to New Castle from Beaver City, Nebraska, where he’s played a key role in turning around one program that had a 28-game losing streak before reaching the playoffs the last few years in Frederickson’s tenure before taking a job at Southern Valley High School in Nebraska, where he made a run to the state championship game.
His ability to turn programs around and really connect with players in and out of the classroom played a major part in the search committee tabbing Frederickson as the next head coach of the Titan program.
“The biggest thing is we sat down as a committee and had a walk through about exactly what we were looking for,” Kirk said. “We wanted someone with experience and someone with discipline, and Bob brings that. Where we’re at as a program, that’s what we were looking for. What the committee liked with Bob was the weight room program and how he’s going to get that going. Beyond that though, it was his personality. He was a guy that seems like he can get along with kids well and relates to them well. Pretty unanimously the committee felt strongly about him. On top of all of that, it sounds like he’s a phenomenal classroom teacher, so that’s huge to have him in the school system. Not only is that great for the players, but it’s great for the school system as well.”
In ironic fashion though, Frederickson found himself as a late applicant for the job, getting in just under the deadline for the position, forcing Kirk and the committee to consider him for the job. Just last year, Fredrickson and his family was driving back from vacation to see family in California and happened to drive past Coal Ridge High School along Interstate 70. Frederickson cracked a joke about how nice it would be to work at the school because the family would have been home already, and just a few months later he’s now the head man of the football program that he looks to turn around in the coming seasons.
Already, Frederickson is making an impact on the program as he’s already met with the senior class for next season, as well as the junior high program to generate interest in football. So far, there’s a palpable buzz surrounding the program.
“We’re going to recruit the hallways for sure,” Frederickson said. “We’ve got to try to get the athletes on the campus to come out for the team. And, you know, a little success could go a long ways for the program. I’ve heard the comment from the kids here that kids at Coal Ridge play soccer because they win more. We’re just going to have to start winning some football games and see what we can do.”
On the field, Fredrickson inherits a talented team of returning athletes, starting with running back/linebacker Jacx Power, wide receiver/cornerback Raul Ramirez and offensive linemen Couy Harrington and Kevin Juarez. That core group will have big responsibilities off the field, according to Frederickson, who will lean heavily on the senior class in his first season to help build the foundation of the program’s culture.
“We’ve talked a lot about this being their team and asking them if they’re tired of losing,” Frederickson said. “The things that have to happen outside of the coaching staff like getting kids to show up during the summer, getting kids to show up for weight lifting …. things like that. When the kids hear it from each other, they’re really apt to come out and participate compared to hearing it from the coaching staff. Really, all of my programs in the past have been like that, because I want the kids to know it’s their program. We have a family atmosphere and take care of each other. It doesn’t matter if they hire me or Tom Herman or Nick Saban; if the kids don’t buy into the program it’s not going to matter.”
As a coach, Frederickson will bring a slight change to the Coal Ridge program, as he’ll implement the wing-T offensive system, but he’ll certainly adapt to the type of players he has come out next season. Over the last 28 years coaching, Frederickson has been more of a 50/50 guy in terms of running the ball and passing the ball, bringing balance to his offensive attacks.
“I really want to run the ball and control the clock, but obviously in 2017 everyone is throwing the ball some,” Frederickson said. “But I am a wing-T guy, which would traditionally say I’m a ground-and-pound guy. But don’t be fooled by that because I did have an All-State receiver two years ago. I try to be as 50/50 as I can, but I’m going to run whatever is working; I’m not trying to invent the wheel or anything.”
Frederickson will make the move to the valley around June 1, where he’ll hit the ground running as a coach. Away from football, Frederickson will work as a Social Studies teacher at the high school.
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After bowing out of the 3A state soccer playoffs in the quarterfinals and semifinals the past two seasons, the Roaring Fork Rams finally get their shot at a state title on Saturday.