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Rifle High names new coaches, AD

RIFLE – It’s not a total makeover, but an extensive change of the familiar faces in the coaches’ lair at Rifle High School is under way.

This fall, Rifle will have three new varsity head coaches, with Troy Phillips heading the girls softball team, Matt Petersen as head track coach and Scott Winter directing the Bears cross country team.

Rick Schmitz, the veteran girls basketball coach, has taken over the reins as Rifle High’s athletic director, from Tamra Petersen.



Two recently-named assistant coaches are also in place.

Doug Bair is the assistant boys golf coach. He was the assistant girls golf coach. Scott Zevin, a recent move-in from Georgia, will be an assistant offensive coach for Rifle’s football team.



The new assignments for Phillips, Petersen, Winter and Zevin have been approved by RHS principal David Smuckler, and await final approval from the Garfield County Re-2 School Board.

The appointments of Schmitz and Bair are already approved.

Phillips, also the high school’s head baseball coach, inherits the girls’ varsity softball team from Cindy Skinner, who started the school’s girls softball program eight years ago.

In 2002, Skinner’s final season at the helm of the softball team, Rifle finished with a 15-6 win-loss record and advanced to the Class 4A state playoffs.

It was the third time in eight years a Skinner-led team reached the state playoffs.

Petersen replaces eight-year track coach Justin Price, who recently accepted a teaching and coaching position at Winfield (Kan.) High School.

Price’s resignation also caused another shift in assignements in the football coaching staff.

Damon Wells, according to head coach Darryl Gorham, has replaced Price as the team’s defensive coordinator.

Winter, a second-year teacher at the high school, replaces Virginia Beaumont, who coached the Bears’ cross country team the past three seasons.


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