GSHS draws nationally renowned coach, speaker Joe Ehrmann |

GSHS draws nationally renowned coach, speaker Joe Ehrmann

Jon Mitchell

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Rick Stevens couldn’t be more excited about the speaker who is coming to Glenwood Springs High School this weekend, especially with the kind of resume that speaker has.

“This here,” the Glenwood Springs High boys lacrosse coach said, “is the opportunity of a lifetime to see this guy talk.”

The speaker who is coming to Glenwood is Joe Ehrmann, who was once called the “most important coach in America” by Parade Magazine. A former lineman for the Baltimore Colts in the mid-1970s who won All-American honors at Syracuse — where he also lettered in lacrosse — he’s given keynote speeches at the University of Iowa and the NCAA National Convention, and for seven NFL franchises and major corporations such as Verizon and Transamerica.

And starting Friday, Ehrmann will be giving a coaching clinic to high school and college coaches from around Colorado during a two-day event at the GSHS theatre. Stevens feels more than lucky to have him.

“We’re going to pinpoint what it is that he’s going to go over when we pick him up on Friday morning,” Stevens said. “But whatever it ends up being, it’s going to be good.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. Friday to the free-to-the-public keynote address from Ehrmann, which is expected to begin around 7 p.m. Ehrmann’s requested keynotes have included coaching for a change, a session on coaching, ethics and team building, leadership/mentoring teamwork, and sports values and culture, according to his website,

The keynote will be followed by the main coach’s clinic, which takes place at 9 a.m. Saturday at GSHS. Stevens said that a $20 donation will be requested at the door.

Many coaches from around the state have already sent in their donations. Meeker High School, Stevens said, is sending 10 coaches from its school. Coaches from the Denver and Grand Junction area will also be attending.

Ehrmann, an ordained minister and coach for more than 25 years, says in his pamphlets his seminars teach more than just the X’s and O’s of sports strategy. It focuses more on transitional coaching and on how coaches can coach the whole person, emphasizing and aiding the development of the child into an adult and making a difference in that person’s life.

He’s also the author of “Inside Out Coaching” — a book Glenwood Athletic Director Craig Denney has distributed to his coaches — and he was also selected by the Institute for International Sport as one of the “most influential sport educators in America.”

“It’s funny,” Stevens joked. “The people who wind up coming to these things are the experienced coaches who are really good and always want to get better. It always seem to be the younger, less-experienced guys who miss out.

“My fear,” Stevens continued, “is that we’ll end up having more out-of-area people there than people from the area. I hope it doesn’t turn out that way. I don’t think it will.”

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