Rifle football coach calls it quits | PostIndependent.com

Rifle football coach calls it quits

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. PearsonRifle head coach Darrel Gorham gets hugged by a fan after coaching his team to a Class 3A semifinal win against Niwot High School.

After the current school year is over, Darrel Gorham is planning on taking an especially long summer vacation.”I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I like to hunt and fish,” Gorham said. Making the decision to step down as Rifle High School’s head football coach has given Gorham plenty of time to figure out what he wants to do.”It was a hard decision to make,” he said

Gorham resigns after 14 years directing the Bears football program, which culminated with the 2004 team’s earning the Class 3A state championship.”I thought it was a good time,” Gorham said. “The program’s in good place.”Gorham made his decision with a letter of resignation as the high school’s football coach at a Re-2 school board meeting two weeks ago.”That’s why I did it now,” he said. “I was worried about the kids here. If you resign too late, then you have to hurry to find somebody to coach, and I didn’t want that.”Family was a big factor in Gorham’s decision.

“All of my family lives over on the Eastern Slope,” he said. “Traveling to see them takes some much time. Now, I’ll be able to go over and see them.”Among those, Gorham will have more time to travel to Pueblo to care for the 83-year-old mother of his wife, and watch his brothers, Dave and John, coach at Thompson Valley and Cañon City high schools, respectively. Gorham will also be able to keep an eye on and help his oldest daughter, Saundra, a varsity assistant girls volleyball and basketball coach and teacher at Elizabeth High School.The Gorhams’ youngest daughter, Sharri, is a freshman at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins.Gorham said that both he and his wife, Daylene, plan on teaching at Rifle this fall. That could change, depending on the job market.”I’ve coached football for 20 years,” he said. “I hope that something opens up on the Eastern Slope. But if there’s no jobs available, we’ll both still be teaching here.”

Darrel Gorham is a physical education and weight training instructor at Rifle High School. Daylene is the school’s special education teacher.When chosen, the school’s new football coach might be hard-pressed to equal the record Gorham amassed at Rifle. In 14 seasons, Gorham-coached teams complied a 102-52 record, made the state playoffs 11 times, including a run of 10 straight years starting in 1994, while earning league titles in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002.Over that span, Gorham was the 3A Western Slope League Coach of the Year three times. The Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post named him Colorado’s football coach of the 2004 season.Gorham also had success in other coaching assignments in his tenure at Rifle. In his six-year run as head baseball coach, his teams won three regular-season league pennants. In 1990, Gorham was the girls basketball coach.The school had not named Gorham’s a successor as of Sunday.

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