Boulder athletic director Eddie Hartnett called Ryan Bishop the Pied Piper of Boulder High School.
No, he's not dressed in fancy garb luring the rats, but his ability to draw kids out of the woodwork to participate in sports — be it football, track, golf or basketball — since he arrived in 2008 has been uncanny.
On Wednesday, Bishop was named the new head football coach at Boulder just days after Vincent Smith turned in his resignation.
"It all happened kind of quickly and unexpected," said Bishop, who was on Smith's staff in various forms over the past three season. "Vince turned in his resignation and from there the administration talked to me and I graciously and without any hesitation accepted."
He takes over a program that went 3-7 last year and is very well aware of the proverbial elephant in the room. Total numbers have been an issue with the Panthers over the last few years, something that Bishop understands won't be a quick fix.
"We've got to start building the program to where it was a few years ago and the important thing is not only getting these kids to buy in and be a part of something special, but getting the community and the parents to buy in as well," said Bishop, whose team starts the regular season on Aug. 24 against Fairview.
And if the early number tell us anything, Bishop has already started to take the Panthers in the right direction. At last week's UNC camp in Greeley, he took 31 kids and they held their own and "were very competitive" he said against some pretty good programs from all over the Front Range.
Another thing that will certainly help is that Boulder is moving into the new-look Metro-10 Conference. The combined record of their nine league foes last year was 26-66 and only two of the teams — Northglenn (6-5) and Far Northeast Warriors (6-4) — posted winning records and five of them finished with two wins or less.
"There is obviously still a lot of recruiting to do and a lot of work to get done," said Bishop, who played his high school ball at Pomona and then in college at Texas Tech. "All the people that I have been around in this game, all started out at a program that needed a little resurgence and I got lucky enough that Vince built a solid foundation here, that we just have to keep moving forward.
"But I am looking forward to the challenge in front of me. Anytime there is change, that brings its own challenge and then you add in the numbers aspect and the fact that program just hasn't been where it was."
Bishop, who also the current girls golf coach, was the defensive backs coach last season as well as helping out with the special teams. He will retain a majority of the staff that was already in place.