Here's a quick look at other new coaches in the BoCo area:
• Beth Buglione, Nederland: The first female head coach in Colorado, Buglione takes over a program that is in a transition phase, playing as an independent before moving back into league play next season.
• Travis Peeples, Frederick: A former college quarterback at Central Florida, Peeples is taking over a Warriors team that went 1-9 last season.
Trust us when we say the hiring of Jeremy Lanter as the Niwot football coach was a calculated move.
Not only is Lanter a math teacher that will have the fortune of ingraining himself into the school with a chance to get to know his athletes better, but he also seems to be the character-person that the Cougars needed in the wake of a tumultuous ending to Dylan Hollingsworth's two-year run as coach.
There is a clean-slate feel to the team with Lanter and his seemingly endless staff of assistants, and the Cougars are anxious to work on adding to some of the on-field success the 2016 squad had. They went 3-7, but that shines in comparison to a 1-19 combined mark the two years prior.
"I'm glad there's a lot of support here, but I am also glad there aren't a lot of things hanging over the kids," Lanter said last week after a rain-soaked practice. "Absolutely, there were vast improvements made on the field, and I think there is a great respect for the steps made in the past two years trying to turn things around. The kids talk about the direction they were and are headed with positivity."
The Cougars were in the news for the wrong reasons last year after an in-class altercation between Hollingsworth and a student led to the coach's arrest, subsequent court appearances and dismissal from the school. It could have been an isolated incident, and those around Niwot will tell you Hollingsworth did some good things for the team on the field. But the dismissal was simply a mandatory step to take.
Hired in February for his first gig as a head coach, Lanter has taken steps to make the program his own, starting with compiling a staff of 13 assistant coaches to help guide the team — he would love to add even a couple more.
Among those coaches is Stan Matsunaka, who coached at Loveland for years alongside John Poovey, as his offensive coordinator. Lanter will be the defensive coordinator, while the rest form a pool of position coaches.
Why so many bodies?
"I wanted to keep as many guys as I could that cared about Niwot football, and I brought on as many guys as I could that care about kids," Lanter said. "I have an offensive coordinator who understands the league and has won a couple state championships. I have always believed, the more coaches you have, the more touches you have on kids and the more retention you have.
"In the past, there's been a lot of turnover of kids in the program. They would bring in a class of 30 players, and they'd end up with a class of 10 by the time they got all the way through. We need that class of 30 to stay a class of 30 at the end. That takes contact."
If one can judge the possibilities of a coach based on the coaches he's surrounded himself with, then Lanter could turn out to be an outstanding get for the program. He comes from Berthoud, where he worked alongside Dan McGinn to bring the 2007 Spartans a 4A title; previously, he also worked at Rifle under legendary coach Darrel Gorham; and he has confided in Windsor coach Chris Jones — particularly in the months since he got the job.
"We needed a kid magnet, a guy that was upbeat and that could really bring some positive energy to the program, and his personality is just that," Niwot athletic director Chase McBride said. "I would expect that the kids are hungry to take the next steps for Jeremy, too."