NIWOT — A three-year window of opportunity has become the norm for a new coach to turn around a struggling program, even at the high school level.
Josh Brewer understood that three years ago when he took over a dismal Niwot High football program that had just endured a 5-25 stretch from 2009-2011 and lost its coach. Though it was his first head coaching job, Brewer knew the constraints he was working with and felt the window closing while he complied a 4-25 coaching record over the past three seasons.
With that in mind on Sunday, Brewer resigned as head coach of the Niwot football program.
“I think the main thing in football is there is a three-year shelf life for change,” Brewer said. “I’ve been around long enough to know that if I’ve been around for three years and things haven’t vastly improved then I’m probably not the right person for the job. I figured it’s time to step down and let another coach come in.”
Despite moving down in classification to the 3A Northern League, the Cougars went 0-10 and were outscored 386-28 in 2014.
While coaching the Cougars, Brewer worked as a teacher at Crossroads Middle School and Vantage Point High School in the Adams 12 district this past season. He taught at Vista Academy in the Denver Public Schools district the year before that. Brewer said not being in the building was his biggest obstacle while trying to get the Niwot football program back in its feet.
“I am pretty confident that it’s in a better position but it’s still not where it needs to be,” Brewer said. “For that to happen, they definitely need to get somebody in the building. That was one of the problems I had, working in an entirely different district as a teacher. It’s a tough job to do when you’re not in the building. It’s just one of those things that helps to have continuous contact with the kids.
“As far as bringing the attitude around and showing the kids they were capable of doing things they haven’t been able to do in a long time, I was able to do that. Niwot is an amazing community with good parents and the team has a lot of sophomores so I think they’ll be set.”
Brewer said he’s not in a hurry to get back into coaching but if the right opportunity comes along, he will consider it. As for finding Brewer’s replacement, Niwot athletic director Chase McBride said finding someone who can work in the building will be a priority.
“We’re going to do everything we can to get a guy in the building,” McBride said. “Between that and finding a high-energy guy who has rebuilt a program before, we’re going to give our best effort to make the best decision for the Niwot football program.”
McBride said no definite timetable has been set for hiring a new football coach but that he hopes to post the job by the early next week. He also said that the Niwot football program will have to have a greater focus on its youth programs, and not just on a single coach, if it hopes to regain the competitive level it had when it won the 3A Tri-Valley League and reached the state semifinals in 2004.
Brewer’s predecessor Ron Tesone also resigned in early 2012 after three straight losing seasons. Tesone spent 12 years with the program and left with a 66-52 record in his 11 seasons as head coach.
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