Glenwood names Pat Engle new head football coach
Following nearly a five-month search for its new head football coach, the Glenwood Springs Demons finally have their man.
In early May, Glenwood Springs Athletic Director Craig Denney announced the hiring of GSHS assistant principal Pat Engle as the next head football coach for the Demons. Engle, who was the head coach at Battle Mountain High School from 2003-06, takes over for former head coach Rocky Whitworth, who ran the program for 14 years before resigning in late November.
As an assistant principal, one of the things Engle missed the most was developing those close relationships with the student athletes. Now, as head coach of the football program, Engle gets to re-establish those relationships he found so appealing during his time at Battle Mountain.
“A lot of my job as an assistant principal doesn’t allow me to develop those relationships that I did as a head football coach,” Engle said. “I’ve been in the weight room now for about a week, and it feels really good to be around the kids again in a different way from day job.”
While at Battle Mountain from 2003-06, Engle went 8-22 overall, beating Glenwood Springs in 2006 on the road. Following his head coaching career, Engle assisted at Battle Mountain for a few years, before moving over to Glenwood Springs for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons, where he assisted under Whitworth. Since 2014, Engle has been away from the game as a coach at the varsity level, but now he’s eager to jump back in, even if the game has changed a bit since his last gig on the sidelines.
“I don’t think that the kids have changed much, but some of the things that I’ve noticed have changed within the game is that you can have an iPad on the sideline,” Engle said. “You can review a play almost immediately on the sidelines now, and that’s different for me. I came from a time — and it’s not like it was that long ago — where that didn’t happen. I’m kind of amazed at that. But in the end, kids are kids. Not much has changed in that aspect.”
Engle will take over a program that went 2-8 (2-3 4A Western Slope League) last season. The Demons had to forfeit four wins due to an inadvertent eligibility issue, and lost 17 seniors due to graduation. Getting the chance to get back on the sidelines and compete again was one of the key factors in Engle taking over the Glenwood program following Whitworth’s departure.
“Getting that chance to compete again and be on the sidelines on Friday nights is what I’m looking forward to the most,” Engle said. “From my perspective, when I became an administrator and assistant principal, I never thought that this kind of opportunity would come around again. Before I had decided that this might be a route that I was going to take, I took some time talking to another guy who is a head football coach and assistant principal. He told me to go for it. Establishing those relationships with not only the kids, but the other coaches on the staff is what it’s all about.”
On the field, Engle will run a hybrid version of what he ran at Battle Mountain (power running game, I-formation), as well as a mixture of what Whitworth ran at Glenwood for the last 14 years.
With the school year drawing to a close, the Demons are in the midst of their summer lifting program, while also bringing along the underclassmen moving up from the middle school program to the high school. According to Engle, the excitement and interest is certainly there as a new chapter is starting for the Demons. However, having been around the program for awhile, Engle is quick to point out he doesn’t want to forget the history.
“I think the new chapter this is always exciting,” Engle said. “But I don’t want anyone to forget we play games at Stubler Memorial Field, behind the home stadium is Don Miller Drive, and the man that walked the sideline for the last 14 years is Rocky Whitworth. Those guys are legends, and they have had a profound impact on where we find ourselves now.”
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