Rams hoops coach steps down after six years

G. Sean Kelly

The time is right for a change, according to Roaring Fork High School boys basketball coach Mike Fahrenkrug.

Fahrenkrug resigned his post as the head basketball coach recently, after steering the team for the past six seasons.

“I feel like I’m not leaving at a time when there’s any hard feeling and I can still enjoy being around the kids and come back and watch them play,” Fahrenkrug said. “I’m leaving an excellent team and not leaving when the program is down.

“I think the program is up and the next guy is going to have some fabulous talent and a superior team.”

The Rams advanced to the regional round of the postseason twice during Fahrenkrug’s tenure, according to Roaring Fork athletic director Larry Williams, and this while playing in the Class 3A Western Slope League that featured exceptional teams from Aspen and a state runner-up team from Cedaredge.

“I think the thing about Mike and (assistant coach) Marty Nieslanik is they talk work ethic, and they talk character,” Williams said. “You always knew the team they put on the floor was going to give 100-percent effort all the time.”

Last year’s squad was an example of how the Rams had success through hard work.

Roaring Fork entered the season with virtually no varsity experience and still managed to finish third in the WSL and advance to the first round of the state tournament.

“I’d have to say the kids at Roaring Fork have as much heart as anybody in the area, and that’s what makes it enjoyable to coach,” Fahrenkrug said.

The next coach is will have plenty of talent back from last season’s 14-9 squad.

The Rams will lose All-WSL honorable mention Arnie Hernandez to graduation, but the other four starters return. The returnees include a trio of first-team all-league players in junior Dan Markoya and sophomores Nic Lough and Aaron Markham.

“I think it’s going to be a good change for the kids, and good for me and good for Marty,” Fahrenkrug said.

“Overall, just the experience was great,” he added. “It doesn’t mean I’ll never coach again. I’m just stepping away for a bit, and who knows what will happen down the road. I never at any time didn’t want to be doing it. There were times when it was frustrating and times when it was hard and I’ll probably miss it to death.”

Boys basketball is one of two coaching positions currently open at Roaring Fork High School.

Mike Baumli, who coached the Rams boys soccer team also resigned from his position because he moved to South Dakota for family reasons.

Anyone interested in either position can call Williams at 384-5753 or pick up an application at the RE-1 office in Glenwood Springs.

“I just hated to lose them both,” Williams said. “I think they did a great job and want to thank them for the time and effort,” Williams said of Baumli and Fahrenkrug. “I think the kids are a little better having played under them and that’s obviously what you want as an AD.”

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