Chase McBride always knew he would make a life for himself in athletics. The only thing up for grabs in the mind of the former Broomfield three-sport star was exactly where.
After dipping his beak into nearly every level, sport and position — from high school to the NFL — the 28-year-old believes he has now found a home and a calling. And the funny thing is where he has ended up is a lot like where he got his start.
There are some obvious differences between Broomfield and Berthoud high schools. But those have paled in comparison to the similarities the new athletic director/assistant principal has found between where he graduated and where he now works.
“Berthoud is like a smaller Broomfield,” McBride said. “It has a big booster club, everybody in town goes to the football games on Friday night and most of the coaches have been there for a long time. It really is kind of like coming home.”
McBride ending up at one of the smallest Class 4A schools — 3A in football — in the state took some soul searching. At one point, after his playing days with University of Colorado football, he was certain the college gridiron was his calling. But after a stint as a graduate assistant with Boise State University football, a former coach advised him to consider his path.
It was Mark Helferich — CU quarterbacks coach when McBride was a Buffalo — who suggested the college game might not be all it is cracked up to be.
“He told me I have a bright future in the college, but it was going to be tough life,” McBride said. “He was 34 (years old) and at his sixth school. He just told me he’d be remiss if he didn’t advise me to go back and teach high school.”
Helferich’s words have rung true for McBride, who — four years into his marriage and educational career — could not be happier. And it is not just the athletic and family aspects of his path that have been satisfying. It also is his chance to follow his parents’ footsteps as educators that has made his professional life well-rounded and exciting.
It is the academic side of McBride’s job that has offered the greatest challenge. Thompson Valley School District is a pilot district for reforms that are to be implemented statewide. Colorado Senate Bill 191, passed in 2010, did away with teacher tenure and establishes a number of teacher evaluation standards, with 50 percent of a teacher’s performance coming from student growth on standardized testing, the other 50 percent from supervisor reviews. The latter — the reviews — have kept McBride hopping since jumping on board.
“I was a late hire, getting the position in August, so I got hit with a thousand things at once,” he said. “It has been a steep learning curve.”
Even with plenty to juggle, McBride believes he is equal to the task. Of course, he also believes he has an ace up his sleeve — his background at Broomfield. The administrator points to his high school as providing some of the inspiration to follow his present path. That comes as no surprise to one of McBride’s former coaches.
Gary Davies followed a similar route in his professional life, graduating from Broomfield then teaching and coaching football at the high school level. And he fully admits, there is just something about being an Eagle that keeps athletes in the game.
“It reflects well on our athletics that so many former players want to make sports their profession,” said Davies, who has five former players on his staff and whose son is a head football coach at another school. “If you look at the programs we have and how successful they’ve been, I think it just makes the athletes want to continue doing it.”
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