Grosh is new Basalt AD |

Grosh is new Basalt AD

Basalt football coach XXX talks to his quarterback during a scimage held at Aspen Highs field Saturday August 28, 2004. Aspen TImes photo/Devon Meyers.

BASALT A May 26 graduation speech touting the importance of embracing change struck a chord with Basalt football coach and teacher Forrest Grosh. The 31-year-old soon decided to take a leap of his own. After a few weeks worth of deliberation, Grosh recently agreed to become the school’s new athletic director.”There are not many opportunities to go up the ladder in teaching, and this was something I had to take advantage of – I had to take a shot,” Grosh said Tuesday. “This was definitely something that was in the back of mind, I just wasn’t sure when an opportunity like this would arise.”Mike Green informed the school in late May that, after six years at Basalt, he was leaving to accept the athletic director and assistant principal positions at Rifle High School. Green’s departure left two vacancies – athletic director and head men’s basketball coach. Jason Kreiling, the girls junior varsity coach, will oversee the men’s basketball team. A few people within the school – and a small amount from outside – came forward to express an interest in the athletic director position, Basalt principle Jim Waddick told The Aspen Times on May 25.

Although he didn’t initially come forward, the administration targeted Grosh as a potential candidate and contacted him soon after Green’s decision. The football coach emerged as a strong contender from the beginning, Green said Tuesday.”We tried to look at the people we knew who were already in-house and might have some experience and knowledge about the process,” Green said. “I told Forrest this was an opportunity for him to get more involved with the administrative side of athletics. He said it was something he might like to try. “He’s good at mediating, he knows the people and is truly concerned about what kids are doing. Kids are looking for somebody they can trust. Forrest is a good fit.”Waddick, too, believed Grosh would be a logical replacement. The coach and four-year physical education teacher also had the backing of his students.

“When the kids heard he had an interest, they said that if they could vote, he’d be their vote,” Waddick said. “It made perfect sense. He was already in school, and we thought it was preferable to have a teacher who is familiar working with these kids. This was an easy one this go-around.”Administrators offered Grosh the job; he contemplated the decision for nearly two weeks. Grosh discussed the matter with his father, a retired teacher whose 33 years in the profession included a brief stint as athletic director at a school in Pennsylvania.”We talked about the opportunity and agreed it was one that might not be there at a later date,” Grosh said. “He said it was a good chance to take the opportunity and see if it was something I’d like to continue.”Still, Grosh was hesitant. He wondered if he’d be able to devote enough time to fulfilling his duties as a coach, teacher and athletic director. Ultimately, and with the assurance of the administration that he would receive help during what promises to be a hectic and time-consuming fall sports season, Grosh decided to embrace the change.

Having friend Green vow to offer to advise him whenever necessary helped alleviate any lingering anxieties, Grosh said.”He offered his help whenever I needed it, and he’ll only be in Rifle so that’s a resource I’ll be able to use,” he added. “We worked well together for the last four years, and being here for four years and seeing the different things he has dealt with firsthand has been nice. He’s clued me in to what I can expect.”Waddick said he is thrilled – and a bit relieved – Grosh accepted the position.”He’s really grown and matured over the years, and it’s nice to see that,” Waddick said. “We’re glad he’s willing to step up and take on the challenge.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is

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