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New coach does what it takes

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent
ALL |

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Greg Holley wants his new Roaring Fork High School football team to get a jump on the upcoming season.

Even if that means camping out in the school’s counseling office.

Holley, who in the spring accepted the post of head football coach and athletic director at the tiny Carbondale school, long ago set his mind on holding a 10-day summer camp for incoming players.



One not-so-minor issue complicated matters, though ” the fact that Holley and his football-playing son, Dana, had no place to stay during the camp.

The Holleys are still living in Woodland Park, where they expect the sale of their house to go through by July 31. The family has yet to wrangle housing here in the Roaring Fork Valley.



No big deal.

The resourceful father and son simply took up residence in the high school’s counseling office, where Greg’s wife, Donna, will work come school’s start. That’s where they’ve lived since July 17 and will stay until the camp concludes Saturday.

And the Holleys have made due with their modest, and thankfully temporary, digs.

“We’ve got a hot plate, a refrigerator, a microwave,” Greg noted. “We’ve got some showers. You’ve got to do what works.”

It’s a small price to pay for a head start acclimating the Rams to Holley’s coaching style and system.

“It helps having our own camp to get used to the system,” said senior Soren Phibbs, “especially having a new coach, new everything. We have new pregame, new warm-ups, a new playbook.”

Roaring Fork players have attended team camps in recent years, but never held their own.

So far, so good, said senior Dana Holley, who like his dad is adjusting to a new scholastic ” and football ” environment.

“Everyone’s looking good,” he stressed. “Everyone’s trying hard to perfect everything. They’re trying real hard to adjust and everyone’s been accepting of coach and what he’s trying to do here.”

The elder Holley’s track record speaks for itself. He spent more than a decade at Woodland Park High School before picking up and heading to the Western Slope for the Roaring Fork gig.

In 1994, he took over a program mired in a 3-56 streak and turned it into a winner. Two league titles and a state quarterfinal appearance speak to his success there.

“You can definitely tell he knows what he’s talking about,” senior Jon Araujo said.

Holley is making things as easy as humanly possible for his new team. After all, the system he’s bringing in is nothing revolutionary.

“It’s mostly just different terminology,” the veteran coach explained. “They’ve been very receptive. It’s not a very complicated offense. They’re catching on easily. I tell them I could get an elementary school team to run this offense.”

That said, the jump-start more or less kills the need for an extended getting-to-know- you process once two-a-day practices start on Aug. 11. There isn’t a whole lot of time between then and the Rams’ Aug. 29 opener against visiting Hotchkiss.

And though his current lodging situation isn’t ideal, Holley is savoring the early start.

“You know, everything’s going well,” he said. “I think I’ve learned about 80 percent of their names.”


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