Mike Green to be Rifle’s athletic director | PostIndependent.com
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Mike Green to be Rifle’s athletic director

Jeff CaspersenGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colo. Mike Green is accustomed to wearing several hats. That’ll make the two hats he’ll don as assistant principal and athletic director at Rifle High School all the more manageable.The soon-to-be former Basalt AD and head boys basketball coach is headed west and, though he’s leaving his current post with a heavy heart, Rifle offers both the challenge and convenience he’s seeking.”There are a lot of things I guess, in different aspects,” Green said of the reasons behind the move. “That I live in Silt being the primary reason, with the cost of gas and the commute every day. I’ve done it for six years. And this is an opportunity for me to step up the ladder. I was able to get my master’s degree in the fall and it seemed like a logical progression. It gives me a chance to be part of athletics to some degree and to step up to an administrative capacity.”Though he labored over the decision to leave Basalt, Green said shaving his round-trip daily commute from roughly 100 minutes down to 20 proved to be the biggest player. With a wife and 7- and 10-year-old under his roof, family time is all too precious. “Everybody said we can see why you would (take the job),” Green said. “Everyone’s been really supportive. It was a difficult decision and they all know how I love (the Basalt) area.”Green, a Longmont native, wrapped up his masters in education leadership through the University of Northern Colorado – the site of his undergraduate work – last fall. Before accepting a job at Basalt six years ago, Green was a workhorse at Cheylin High School in northwest Kansas for 13 years.”There I did just about everything,” he said. “I was the athletic director, head football coach, head basketball coach, head track coach and I taught P.E.”What Green will miss most about coaching is the interaction with students.”I’ll miss the relationships, the camaraderie, the competition with all the other coaches,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to kind of have a chess match out there, to see if you can get the kids to do what you want them to do, to see them excel. The relationships are the biggest piece you miss, watching them grow and develop over time.”Rifle principal Todd Ellis likes what his school’s getting in Green.”I think what impressed us with Mike was his experience,” he said. “He has a good reputation in the valley. He’s familiar with the valley sports programs and he’s worn a lot of hats at Basalt. He understands the whole gamut of activities. He also knows good teaching, which will be helpful in the classroom.”Green was tabbed from a field of seven interviewees, Ellis said.”Mike obviously stood out from the others,” the principal lauded. “It was a tough field. There were some real quality candidates.”Rifle had shared its AD, Rick Schmitz, with 2-year-old Re-2 mate Coal Ridge High School the past two years. When Coal Ridge girls basketball coach Tiffany Robison stepped down in April, Schmitz assumed coaching duties and dropped his duties as AD for Rifle, creating the open position. He kept the Coal Ridge AD title.With a growing school district, having separate ADs is the way to go, Ellis said.”I think that it will inspire trust and confidence not only in the community but with the coaches. Mike can concentrate on Rifle High School. That obviously has benefit.”Rifle is a sports-rich school, making it an ideal landing spot. In 2006-07, the Bears boasted a state title winner in wrestling (Tim Long), a state-qualifying girls golf team, a regional champion boys track and field team, several track state qualifiers and playoff appearances by their football, girls basketball, baseball and softball teams.”I think it’s a step up,” said Green, who will be making a class jump from 3A to 4A. “Basalt was a great opportunity as well, with soccer and basketball doing so well. Rifle is a different challenge. It’s 4A and there are great programs there. I hope I can add to those programs.”


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