Spend any amount of time around Centaurus coach Bob Carskie, you're liable to feel a little bit younger coming out of the conversation. Carskie's zest for life, the game of football and for coaching and teaching high school student-athletes is something that simply glows around him.
That's been the case for five decades, starting in the Chicago area in the mid-1970s and extending to Boulder County in 2000 when he moved to the area and became head coach at Boulder High.
A man who has been a teacher, coach and administrator in the Boulder Valley School District, Carskie announced recently that he will permanently retire at the end of the football season and subsequently as a teacher at the end of the 2017-18 school year.
"I've gotten a lot back out of football, and I've lived all around the country, coached at some incredible schools and met some incredible people," Carskie said this week, just ahead of the Warriors' final football game of the season against Northridge on Friday. "It's been a great ride for me, and coming to Boulder has just been a whole bunch of fun.
"The new administration (at Centaurus) here needs a good, young coach with a five-year plan, some new ideas and a vision and while I've had a ball here, it's just the right time for everybody, myself included."
Carskie's distinguished career began in the Chicago Catholic League in 1975, which Carskie proudly says was home of some of the toughest football in the country at the time.
His success through the 1980s led him to gain an opportunity to work on Barry Alvarez's staff at the University of Wisconsin, and in the 1990s served as a recruiting coordinator at Louisville (under Howard Schnellenberger) and Iowa State (under Dan McCarney).
But Carskie saw an opportunity to get back to coaching at Boulder, and the quality of life and opportunity to raise two young children (David and Samantha) in Colorado drew him to the area.
He took the Panthers to the playoffs several times and, perhaps more importantly, kept Boulder competitive against rival Fairview.
"It was the time of my life, moving out to Colorado and I enjoyed coaching those players," Carskie said. "We had some good teams, and some great games against Fairview. Those are things I will always remember."
After a two-year stint as Boulder's athletic director, Carskie returned to the sidelines as an assistant coach on the Centaurus staff under Chad Senseney and took over as head coach prior to the 2015 season.
After four straight losing seasons, Carskie's 2015 CHS team went 7-3 missing the playoffs by the thinnest of margins. He was named BoCoPreps.com coach of the year for the turnaround effort.
The two seasons since have seen CHS go a combined 6-13, but the Warriors are looking to end the season on a three-game winning streak with a home victory over the Grizzles (2-7). They upset Silver Creek the week that Carskie let his players know he was going to retire, then scored a season-high 43 points in a win against Thompson Valley last week.
"The past few weeks have been as much fun as I've had coaching in a long time and the kids have stayed committed, shown up to work hard, and have gotten some big wins," Carskie said. "We're practicing like it's August 14."
One Carskie may be calling it a career, but don't be surprised to hear the family name in coaching circles from time to time. David Carskie is currently the tight ends coach at Division III Puget Sound, which has recruited Boulder quite a bit in recent years for football and soccer.