Basalt’s Green heading to Rifle |

Basalt’s Green heading to Rifle

BASALT For two weeks he agonized. Then, Basalt athletic director and head basketball coach Mike Green decided he couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Green recently informed school officials, students and faculty that, after six years in Basalt, he is leaving the school. He accepted a job at 4A Rifle High School, where he will serve as athletic director and assistant principal beginning this fall.”I put off this decision as long as I could,” Green said Thursday. “I wasn’t planning to make a move, but when things started falling into place, I started to look a little more seriously at it. “Green, who completed his masters in educational leadership at the University of Northern Colorado last fall, first learned of the Rifle opening in early April, he said. “We’re always trying to ascend, to better ourselves as much as we possibly can, and this was the perfect match for what I was looking for,” he said. “You don’t get a whole lot of opportunities like this in your life.”It seemed like a natural progression, he added. There were additional personal benefits. Green’s commute from Silt, where he lives with his wife and two sons, to Basalt is typically 50 minutes; it would be reduced to 10 if he worked in Rifle. Once he was officially offered the position, Green weighed his options. Basalt Principal Jim Waddick said Thursday the decision was an obvious one.”I know he struggled with it – it was really hard for him. He kept telling me he didn’t want to go,” Waddick said. “I think it made sense for him to move in that direction. When you spend money to complete your master’s and get a license in administration, you need to pursue those opportunities.”I know the kids were very disappointed when they found out. He was happy at Basalt, and we were happy to have him.”The decision to give up coaching in return for a move up the administrative ranks was difficult, Green admitted. He broke the news to his players during an informal meeting last week.”Coming in and telling young men you’ve worked with for four years you won’t be there next year is difficult,” he said. “You could hear a pin drop in there. It was a tough day, but I wanted to sit them down and explain that this had nothing to do with them. I told them I was leaving to better myself, and I think they understood that.”I’ll remember the relationships I built with these kids, both academically and athletically. They have great character and respond very positively to you.”Waddick is now in an rare position, as Green’s departure leaves two vacancies. The principal said the school is ideally looking for two people to fill the positions to “make life a little easier” for both. Multiple people within the school have expressed an interest in both positions, Waddick said. He is in no rush, however, to make a move. The search will intensify after Saturday’s graduation.Waddick hopes the people who do eventually take over will exhibit many of the same characteristics as Green.”He was a real even-tempered man on the sidelines and a decent man, which I think is what you really want as a role model,” he said. “I think he made the right decision, maybe not for us but for himself. That’s what’s important.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is

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