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BROOMFIELD — Broomfield wrestling coach Joe Pereira had to make a decision.

“An opportunity kind of came up for me that I wasn’t really looking for,” he said on Wednesday evening. “And I got a job as Director of Weatherization for the Colorado Energy Office, and from where I’m sitting, that is a job I really can’t pass up.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Pereira handed in his letter of resignation to Broomfield athletic director Steve Shelton and will hand the reins of the defending Class 4A team champion off to someone else.

“It’s tough, but on the other hand I know they are all really prepared to go out and meet their goals,” said Pereira, who is married and has two children under the age of five. “I take a little bit of solace in that.”

In his four years as coach, the Eagles took major steps in terms of establishing a program that was already good and making it better. The state championships and the individual champions will always be special, but there are a couple other specific moments stand out in Pereira’s mind as the ones that defined his programs. As a premier program in the state, you have the chance to schedule some of the states best in dual matches, and twice Pereira’s team took down mighty Ponderosa during his tenure.

“Obviously the state championship and the individuals titles, but the wins against Ponderosa stand out as a really fun event,” said Pereira, a native of Minnesota, who also coached a state championship team in Delaware. “The first time we did it and doing it at home, that really stands out.”

Pereira did have a chance to meet with his wrestlers one last time and word spread quickly though the Broomfield halls on Wednesday. The shock and awe of the situation will take some time to set in, but his kids remained positive and expressed their gratitude in a number of ways.

“I’ve been getting calls and texts from them all day just saying thank you,” Pereira said. “I’ve been saying the same thing back. They have given as much to me as I’ve given to them. They were just concerned and wanted to know what was going to happen and I gave them assurances we are working together to make sure the right people end up with the program and continue the success.”

Shelton and several administrators will begin the search process on Friday to get either an interim coach or a full-time coach in place before the season that starts in December. Pereira knows that it’s not as simple as handing the keys over to a Ferrari, but at the same time the Eagles have the pieces in place to make another run at a title and should be the favorite when the season rolls around.

“As long as they keep doing things right, they will be right back in the mix,” Pereira said. “It’s just a matter of making sure they stay on task and know what they have to do to win and what they have to do to make that happen.”

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