LONGMONT — After months of searching, Mead High School has hired Jason Klatt as its new head football coach.
Klatt, brother of former University of Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt and son of longtime Pomona coach Gary Klatt, will take over the Mavericks program in its third varsity season.
“There’s definitely a lot of challenges but we’re going to embrace those challenges and see them as opportunities,” Klatt said. “It’s exciting to start fresh a little bit and start my own tradition. I have a lot of respect for the former staff and them getting the football program going here, which is no small feat.”
Klatt replaces Martin Clark, who resigned over the winter as he and his wife prepared to welcome a new baby into their family.
The challenges Klatt will face include advancing a program that will move up to Class 3A Tri-Valley League next season after finishing 3-17 in its first two seasons at the 2A level.
Klatt, who also will teach physical education at Mead, said his program will be about treating kids right before anything else. He intends to focus on one little thing at a time and on the bigger picture in the classroom, weight room, community and on the field.
“If we do those things and really take care of business in-house, then we’ll start looking to contend with teams like (2011 state runner-up) Silver Creek,” he said.
Klatt coached for two years at Pomona, where his father coached for 30 years. Jason Klatt also taught P.E. and coached football at Mountain View for the last 11 years, serving as defensive coordinator for eight.
At 36 years old, Klatt believes he is ready for his first head-coaching job, though he had mixed feelings about leaving Mountain View.
But the Mead opening stuck in Klatt’s mind for two primary reasons: the facilities and a longstanding relationship with assistant principal Frank Buck and athletic director Darin Reese. Both Buck and Reese worked alongside Klatt in the athletic department at Mountain View.
“I’ve been around 3A for a while now and, in my opinion, Mead has the best facilities in 3A for sure,” Klatt said. “I love the setting and how close the field is and everything else.”
Klatt said he is excited to join a 3-year-old Mead athletic program that has already sent both basketball teams, girls soccer and its volleyball team to the postseason. The Mavericks also have won multiple individual 3A state titles in track and field, and the wrestling team sent seven wrestlers to the state tournament in 2011.
“That was one of the things that tugged me in this school: the direction the athletic program is heading,” Klatt said. “The standards are so high that it’s really a fun place to be. When you set high standards for the kids and they understand that, then good things are going to happen at your school.”
While the Mead hiring committee was considering another candidate out of Greeley, Reese said Klatt was their top choice because of his energy and ability to motivate.
“Jason was certainly the committee’s number one choice,” Reese said. “He’s got a lot of experience at the high school level, not only has a coach but he’s been a teacher for 11 or 12 years. He’s a high-energy, high-character guy. That’s the type of coach we needed and I think he’s going to be a good fit for this program at this time.”
The Mavericks’ new head man held a meeting last Wednesday to introduce himself to the players. The football team will begin a three-day minicamp on Tuesday of next week.
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