LAFAYETTE — For the last 13 years Cisco Gonzales has poured his heart and soul into the Centaurus wrestling program.

Last week, the Warriors coach stepped away from the program and his reasoning was fairly simply.

"I guess it was just the right time," he said rather bluntly. "I've been sitting on a degree for a while in administration and I want to pursue that further."

Gonzales still teaches at Centaurus.

But for the man who oversaw a regional championship team and several conference championships teams during his tenure it will be hard to sit on the sidelines and watch after.

"We'll find out I'm sure, but it is going to be a bit of a learning curve," said Gonzales, who got to be a part of the parade of champions with heavyweight Forrest Lalaguna this past season.

Gonzales looks back over the 13 years in charge and can point to a few specific moments that will forever be etched in his memory. The magical year of 2008 when the Warriors rolled to the Front Range League crown, captured the regional tournament and then crowned two champions — Dominic Valenzuela and Garrett Lanham — at state, where they finished fifth overall in Class 5A.

"We had a pretty good run there for about five years," Gonzales recalls, "And every group really had is own special feel to it.

"Last year we had a group of seniors that didn't have a lick of experience when the walked in the door as freshmen and for them to be able to compete and find success on the mat, that was pretty cool."


In addition to Valenzuela and Lanham, Gonzales had the pleasure of coaching three state champions in all. In 2006 he coach 215-pounder Waylon Lolotai to the title.

Jon Yunt: or