Glenwood Springs High School athletic director Craig Denney hospitalized with cancer

Jon Mitchell

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A school official on Wednesday confirmed that longtime Glenwood Springs High School Athletic Director Craig Denney has been admitted to Valley View Hospital after he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

GSHS Assistant Principal Gayla Rowe said Denney had been in and out of the hospital since Thursday of last week and that school staffers were sharing his athletic director duties in his absence. Denney was not present at the high school’s Class 3A state playoff football game against Delta this past Saturday.

Rowe, who will serve as interim athletic director for GSHS while Denney is gone, said there is no timetable for his return. The students at the school were informed of Denney’s condition in an announcement made on Wednesday.

“[Denney’s return] depends on how well the chemotherapy works,” Rowe said. “He’s a hard man, and it’s taking four or five of us to cover the massive amount of work he does on his own because … he clocks in for about 72 hours a week. We’re carrying on without him, but the kids sure miss him.”

Lymphoma, according to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, is a type of blood cancer that occurs when lymphocytes — white blood cells that help protect the body from infection and disease — begin behaving abnormally. Abnormal lymphocytes may divide faster than normal cells or they may live longer than they are supposed to, potentially creating tumors. Lymphoma, the foundation’s website said, may develop in many parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood or other organs.

Denney and his wife, Ann, issued a statement in the wake of the diagnosis.

“Craig Denney, Athletic Director at Glenwood Springs High School, is currently hospitalized with lymphoma cancer,” the statement said. “However, the prognosis is excellent. The Denney family appreciates all wishes, letters, flowers, meals, and prayers. Due to the nature of the cancer, he cannot have visitors.”

The statement went on to say that a Caringbridge account is being set up at, and updates about Denney’s progress will be available on the site.

Denney has served as the athletic director at GSHS for the past six years, taking over for Steve Cable. Prior to that, he spent eight seasons as the Demons’ football coach, stepping into Tim Floyd’s position right before the first game of the 1996 season. He stepped down in 2003 to spend more time with family, giving way to current Demons head football coach Rocky Whitworth.

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