Willis: Full statement from Erie’s Gartrell regarding resignation

Eighteen-year Erie head football coach Larry Gartrell resigned Tuesday with 105 career wins, two title-game appearances and one championship. Gartrell wrote a statement to Erie supporters and shared it with BoCoPreps.

Here it is in its entirety:

Dear Erie Community:

Earlier this morning I submitted my resignation as Erie High School Tiger’s head football coach which was accepted by the district. After 18 years of year-round dedication to the Erie High School football program, I believe that I have had a solid run which includes one State Championship, one State Runner-Up performance, and numerous appearances in the State Playoffs. Although Erie certainly did have a few lean years here and there, it has been a tremendously rewarding experience for me and my family to have had the honor to help shape the lives of so many young men. For that I will be forever grateful.

I believe my coaching staff and I have over the years met numerous challenges from being undersized to transitioning from a 1A school to our present 3A classification. Past and present Erie Tiger football players and their families have always risen to challenges presented them, and I predict they will continue to do so in the future as Erie grows even more. Erie Tiger football players and the Erie Tiger community are proud and humble competitors regardless of the score.

As I reflect on the past 18 years, the 100+ wins and state successes pale in comparison to the memories have gained. I will never forget:

o My first team 1-8, beat Frederick
o First Captains; Chris, Jared, Rob
o Frost Bite at Semi Final game in Akron
o Jason’s blocked kick for a Touchdown to lead us to a win over Limon
o The Unbreakable- Unstoppable Champions of ‘97
o Adam, Jason and Mark’s unbelievable senior performance in the ‘97 Championship game.
o The joy of coaching my son. o Monday Morning Lights
o Defending our Turf o Ryan’s 42 yard field goal.
o The Great Journey to the ’08 Championship game.
o The Awesome Power of Diesel.
o Justin’s Dedication
o The pure heart and football ability of players like Jeff, Matt, Evan, Neal, Andy, Jared, Dalton, Ronnie, Justin, Connor, Pedro, Joe and many, many others.

Once again, I truly appreciate all the years of support from the Erie community for the Erie Tiger football program, myself, and our coaching staff. It has been a privilege and an honor to have had the opportunity to lead the Erie High School Tigers onto the football field for the last 18 years. I personally would like to thank all of the parents- past, present and future for all you have done for the football program.

Lastly, I would like to thank my parents, for NOT letting me play little league football so I could grow, appreciate and love the game as a teenager. For encouraging me to do well in school and following my football career from Mead Jr. High, Skyline HS and Adams State College. And still being there through 25 years of coaching and being at most every game….words can not describe the gratitude I have……..

 Sincerely,

 Larry Gartrell

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