Glenwood Springs football coach Pat Engle steps down after four seasons
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Glenwood Springs High School football coach Patrick Engle, who steered the Demons through a memorable pandemic-altered spring season last year, is stepping down after four seasons.
“My goal was to get the program back to a really good place, and I think we did that,” said Engle, who plans to stay on as GSHS assistant principal. “I think we have an opportunity with quite a few potential teaching positions opening up to get someone good in here and maybe plant some roots and be here for a while.”
Engle was an assistant coach under former Demons’ head coach Rocky Whitworth off and on during his 14 years at the helm, and took over as head coach going into the 2018 season after Whitworth resigned.
During the past four seasons, Engle’s teams compiled a 21-17 record, including a 7-1 season in the spring of 2021 when the Demons rolled to the one-off 3A West league title before losing in the playoffs to eventual state champion and cross-county rival Rifle.
“That group of kids made the best of a really interesting time,” Engle said of the split year, when some Colorado high schools chose to play football in fall 2020 and others during the optional spring season — a result of the public health restrictions that were in place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That was a special run, and it was pretty memorable,” Engle said. “We had a lot of success on the field, but also off the field in how the players and coaches really cared for each other. That team really embodied everything that Glenwood Springs football is about.”
GSHS Athletic Director Craig Denney said the head football coaching position has been posted for about a week, and the application period closes April 1.
Denney said Engle stepped into a tough spot given all the years Whitworth had invested in the program. The coaching switch also came after an administrative error during the 2017 season allowed an ineligible player to play the first seven games, resulting in the Demons forfeiting all of their wins that year.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better role model for our kids,” Denney said of Engle. “He did a great job, and really made the kids believe in themselves.”
The long drives to Denver to play competitive club softball and fine-tune her skills during the offseason are paying off for Glenwood Springs High School senior Kiera Larson.