In six years away from head coaching, Chris Mischke admits he's mellowed some.More importantly, he also had time to reflect upon what he really wanted his coaching philosophies to be if he ever ran another basketball program.
Introduced Monday as Boulder High's new girls varsity coach, Mischke gets to start putting his basic tenets to the test.
"I just realized kids are going to work hard for you if they have a relationship of trust with you," said Mischke, who led the Nederland girls program before a successful two-year stint leading the NHS boys team that ended in 2005. "They're going to learn the right way to play basketball and learn from each other."
Mischke -- a varsity assistant for the Monarch boys the last three years and a social studies teacher at Louisville Middle School -- replaces Aisha Veasley. Veasley resigned in August after just one season, leaving BHS with little time to find a replacement.
Mischke beat out a field of 12 candidates that included two other finalists -- Jack Clarke, a BHS boys assistant under former coach Alan Schulz, and former Ponderosa and Conifer girls head coach Jonathan Marston.
Mischke is the fourth new head coach for the BHS girls team in the last 21 months. After Dynelle Tadlock resigned midseason in January 2010, assistant Sara Klippert took over on an interim basis. Terry Gallagher was hired after that season ended but resigned just a few weeks later, leading to Veasley's hiring. Veasley took the team to the Class 5A sweet 16 last season.
In Mischke, a long-time teacher in the Boulder Valley School District whose family has put down roots in Erie, the Panthers are confident they're adding a bit of stability to the program.
Mischke met with players who could make it after school on Monday, but will have another meeting for coaches and their parents at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday in the BHS library.
"To have somebody as qualified as Chris this late in the game is a huge relief," said Boulder High athletic director Melissa Warfield, who has also had to replace head coaches in boys basketball, volleyball and girls soccer in a little more than a year on the job.
Mischke, 37, a 1992 graduate of BHS cross-town rival Fairview, began his coaching career as the C coach at Platte Valley while still in college. After two years as Nederland JV boys coach, he took over the girls program for four years. He then spent two years with the boys squad, reaching the sweet 16 twice, before spending one year as a boys assistant at Centaurus under his own high school coach, Mike Leahy.
Mischke took two years off from high school coaching after the Centaurus gig to earn his master's degree. But he stayed active helping out with the boys and girls teams at LMS, and three years ago got a spot on Ken Niven's staff at Monarch.
"He really knows the game," Niven said. "He has a great basketball background. He added a lot of things offensively in our program. He really cares about kids. When you're a coach, you're a teacher, and he is a great teacher. I'm excited for him."
Mischke said he expects to transition smoothly back to coaching girls. He said some of the longest-lasting relationships he's had with players were from his time coaching the girls squad at Nederland.
Mischke said his first objectives are to hire a coaching staff and to get to know the players, whom he realizes have been through a tough period with so much change.
Despite his Fairview roots, Mischke said he's always had an eye on coaching at BHS because of the tradition and history at the school.
"I just want to be committed to them and I want them to know I'm committed to them," Mischke said. "I always wanted to be here."
BHS pair earns
Olympic Trials cuts
Fall for prep swimmers is reserved primarily for building up their base for next season. Two BHS speedsters should have a little extra motivation to improve after earning Olympic trials qualifying times late in the summer.
Sophomore Amanda Richey -- a 5A state runner-up in the 500-meter freestyle last winter -- swam 8:48.47 in the 800 free to earn her spot at next summer's trials in Omaha.
Freshman Haley Rowley, meanwhile, qualified for the trials in two events, the 400 IM (4:50.44) and 200 backstroke (2:17.78).
The pair gives Boulder County three swimmers headed to trials next summer along with Fairview's Abbie Houck, who edged Richey at state in the 500.
"It's pretty impressive that Haley and Amanda at their young age got their cuts in such demanding events," Boulder coach Curt Colby said.
Centaurus is seeking a head baseball coach and an assistant cheer coach. For more information, contact athletic director Paul Roper at 720-561-5362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vollitude Volleyball Club 12's tryouts will be held Oct. 14 at Twin Peaks Charter Academy in Longmont. For more information, visit vollitudevbc.com.