Whitworth named as new Glenwood Springs High football coach
Rocky Whitworth knows what it takes to build a football program. In his six years as head coach at Grandview High School in Aurora, Whitworth turned the Wolves into a consistent state playoff team.
In his second tour of duty on the Western Slope, Whitworth looks to add to the foundation laid by Craig Denney as Glenwood Springs High School’s new head football coach.
“As a teacher and a coach, I’ll continue to focus on teaching on the success of the program and build on the things that need to be built on,” Whitworth said.
Although, most of Whitworth’s coaching has been on the Front Range, he’s familiar with Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork valley. In 1978, Whitworth led Roaring Fork High School to its first state football title.
Larry Williams, Roaring Fork’s current athletic director, played for Whitworth as a freshman and sophomore in high school, and has good memories of his former coach.
“He was a positive influence in my life,” recalled Williams. “And he is a positive hire for (Glenwood).”
And, while it’s been close to three decades since he patrolled the sidelines on this side of the state, Whitworth welcomed the opportunity to return to the area.
“I’ve been coming here since I was a young boy with my folks and (Glenwood) was the place that we came to,” he said. “I still have family in the area and have been coming back many years and its a place I’ve always wanted to return to.”
Whitworth now has the chance to establish his roots in Glenwood.
Solid values in academics and athletics
At Grandview, Whitworth was the high school’s only head football coach since it was established in 1998. After going 0-10 in the school’s first year, Whitworth steered Grandview into the state football playoffs the past five straight seasons.
Whitworth said his team’s success on the field comes from establishing solid values in academics and athletics ” something he will continue at Glenwood.
“The infrastructure is here and it’s a great community,” the new coach said of Glenwood Springs. “I believe there’s an excellent future for the football program.”
Whitworth said after meeting the players, his first priority will be to put together a coaching staff.
“That’s the primary thing I have to do,” he said. “I know there’s outstanding people in the community and teachers that will be excellent coaches.”
The coach hinted that he will not limit his choices to the area, and his coaching staff could consist of a combination of local residents and others willing to move from the Denver.
No one plan of attack
Whitworth, who played prep ball at Colorado Springs Wasson High School and college-level ball at the University of New Mexico and the University of Northern Colorado, said he’ll be directly involved with Glenwood’s offense.
But he said he wouldn’t stick to one plan of attack.
When asked if he plans to run or pass the ball as a primary weapon, he said, “I’ve done both. My philosophy is that we will let our talent dictate what we’re going to do.”
One thing that Whitworth hopes to tap into is the Demons’ work ethic.
“When the values are right, you work hard for want you need to get,” he said. “I think the young people will respond to that.”
“Kids want to go someplace in a group where they can’t take themselves,” Whitworth said. “A good solid football program can take them there.”
Each year, the Lions Club uses race proceeds from the FireKracker 4K race to provide eye examinations and eye glasses for those in the Roaring Fork Valley who are in need.
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