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As an undersized football player, Chase McBride continually defeated the odds. Despite his 5-foot-8 frame, the 2003 Broomfield graduate played four seasons of Division-I football at Wyoming and the University of Colorado.

In the next phase of life, McBride continues to be undeterred by seemingly unfavorable numbers.

One of 37 candidates for the Niwot athletic director job, McBride emerged as the clear-cut choice to replace outgoing AD Jim Butterfield. The post became available when Butterfield accepted a principal job at Grand Junction-based Bookcliff Middle School.

“Chase was our absolute top candidate,” St. Vrain Valley School District athletic director Rob Berry said. “I think it came down to his enthusiasm and his experience. … I think he’s just an outstanding young man.”

McBride spent the past two seasons as athletic director and assistant principal at Berthoud High School, titles he’ll maintain at Niwot. With Berthoud previously competing in the Northern League and currently in the Tri-Valley, McBride worked closely with the SVVSD.

“I’ve done a lot of work with Niwot and I’ve always wanted to get into the St. Vrain,” said McBride, who officially will take over on July 1. “I love the district-level leadership and always thought it would be a good fit for me. It gets me a little closer to my roots and where I grew up.”

St. Vrain administrators pared the candidates down to single digits, did a few Skype interviews and six in-person interviews. They narrowed down to two candidates, and McBride was the runaway winner.

A running back at Broomfield and wide receiver/kick returner in college, McBride’s name is widely recognizable in the area. His professional profile is ramping up as well. He credited Berthoud principal Chris Garcia for showing him the ropes at his first AD job, and now feels established as he takes over Niwot.

“From the aspect of already being an AD, I’m ready to roll,” McBride said. “To be honest with you, I have to give a lot of credit to Jim Butterfield. He’s leaving things so that it’s a really smooth transition for me. He’s got a lot done, so it’s kind of a turn-the-key position to get going.”

McBride said the one “wild card” was that he didn’t know much about new Niwot principal Eric Rauschkolb, who also will begin duties on July 1. But those concerns were quickly alleviated.

“Just from my brief conversations with him in the interviews and since then, I think it’s going to be a perfect match,” McBride said.

Butterfield spent five years as the athletic director at Niwot and oversaw distance runner Elise Cranny’s reign, which included back-to-back Class 4A state titles for the girls track team; the boys soccer state title in 2009; a runner-up finish this season in baseball; and numerous state-tournament appearances throughout the program.

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