Home, Demon home for Hitchcock
They say you can never go home again.
For Cory Hitchcock, he’s glad that the old saying doesn’t hold true for him.
Hitchcock, who served as the head basketball coach at Glenwood Springs before resigning this past July, has made his return to the valley where he will once again lead the Demons boys basketball team this fall.
The 36-year-old originally left Glenwood Springs to take an assistant coaching position with Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, but Hitchcock and his family quickly realized how much they missed their family, friends and the community of Glenwood Springs, leading the fifth-year head coach to return to his home by taking the Demons vacant head coaching job once again.
“I bleed red and white,” Hitchcock said during a phone interview, Wednesday. “I invested so much time at the school as a coach and in the athletic office. I missed the boys and the community so much. We have family here. When all is said and done, this is our home. We didn’t realize the impact the area had on our lives, but this is where we want to be, and I’m so happy to be back.”
The community, school district and his players are happy to have him back as well.
Despite leaving roughly two months ago, Hitchcock and Glenwood Springs athletic director Craig Denney — who remain close friends — kept in constant contact, ultimately leading to Hitchcock’s anticipated return to the valley.
“We had some applicants for the position, but I was always talking to Cory,” Denney said. “Finally, one day I just said to him, ‘Why don’t you just come back?’ Luckily he did, and we’re so excited to have him back, for sure.”
In five years at the helm of the Demons basketball program, Hitchcock helped guide Glenwood Springs to two league championships and an appearance in the Colorado state playoffs every year. In those five years under Hitchcock, the Demons went 70-50.
Thankfully for seniors Mason Yellico and Cameron Horning, the familiarity with Hitchcock’s coaching style and system upon his return is relieving for a team that felt stressed heading into the fall without a coach. The return of Hitchcock quickly wiped all of the stress and anxiety away for a Demons team that looks to defend its Class 4A Western Slope League championship.
“Cam and I are really excited and relieved,” Yellico said. “Getting Coach back is awesome. We were stressing out not having a coach, but having him back is great, and we’re really excited for this year. We were able to meet with him, and we just can’t wait to get going.”
Hitchcock, who resigned from Missouri Valley on Sept. 16, will begin his sixth season at the helm. The players were a huge factor in his decision to return, but the appeal of Glenwood Springs for him and his family was something he couldn’t seem to get away from.
“My wife and I both had great jobs here, and my son was in a good school district,” Hitchcock said. “To pick up my family and move … that was hard. It made it much harder to transition when we felt like we had a huge void in our life. I didn’t want to have to look back on this time down the line and say, ‘What if?’”
The only “what if” Hitchcock will have to worry about now is coaching decisions in game — if that ever arises. Surely he’s happy with that.
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