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Mark Sibley
Mark Sibley

Monarch High athletic director Mark Sibley wasn’t quite ready to make the leap last summer when principal Jerry Anderson approached him about sliding into a different assistant principal position at the school.

Given the same opportunity earlier this month, Sibley decided that this time he couldn’t pass it up.

After 12 years leading the MHS athletic department, Sibley is changing roles at the 14-year-old school, leaving behind a legacy of facilitating a rapid rise by many Coyote sports programs to perennial contender status.

Sibley, 45, said Tuesday that he’s making the move for a variety of reasons, including professional development. While he didn’t say he’s shooting for a principal job someday, he didn’t rule it out.

“Every job I said I’d never do I end up doing,” Sibley said. “This is going to at least make that more viable if anything came across the table that I wanted to look at.”

Sibley will be taking on more curricular and staff development duties than he’s had in his current post. He’ll also have fewer evening commitments, another key aspect to his decision given that he’s got four children between the ages of 7 and 13 who are becoming more active in their own activities.

“The family component is certainly a major factor as well,” Sibley said.

Sibley, a longtime former teacher and coach at Centaurus, went to Monarch when it opened in the fall of 1998 as a teacher and coach of the boys and girls swim programs. After Monte Sutak and Jamie Kane each spent one year leading the MHS athletic department, Sibley took over and has remained in the role since.

The Coyotes have logged three team state titles (football, girls golf, girls cross country) and numerous other postseason successes during that time.

“It’s a huge loss for us in the athletic world,” Boulder Valley School District athletic director Michele DeBerry said.

Sibley’s most recent major impact as A.D. came when he hired soccer great Marcelo Balboa to lead the Coyotes’ struggling boys program. But that hiring won’t be his last.

He’ll also be hiring new volleyball and softball coaches in the coming weeks before his duties shift. Those new additions will join a head coaching cadre at MHS that includes four who came on board when the school opened with Sibley — girls basketball coach Gail Hook, boys hoops coach Ken Niven, football coach Phil Bravo and golf coach Michael Riley.

“I’m happy for him that he can spend more time with his family,” Niven said. “But I’m really disappointed. I think he did a great job. He was so easy to work with and great for us. He was always so supportive and handled things in such a professional manner. Who lasts 12 years in an athletic director position? It’s a tough job.”

Sibley said a couple of his fondest memories include the school’s first team state title, in football in 2002, and the 2009 girls basketball state title game loss to Regis.

Sibley said he got letters from other school districts in the days following that 2009 basketball game from people praising the MHS student section for its size, enthusiasm and good sportsmanship.

“Even though we lost that game to Regis, it’s probably the proudest I’ve been at Monarch,” Sibley said. “To hear those sorts of comments about your kids is pretty special.”

Initial interviews for the Monarch A.D. position are scheduled for May 31, according to the BVSD job posting. Finalist interviews will be held June 4.

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