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Eddie Hartnett says he always has been a Boulder County kid at heart.

Now he’s coming home again.

Hartnett, a longtime athletics administrator and the new president of the Colorado High Schools Activities Association board of directors, will take over as the new athletic director at Boulder High.

The move remains unofficial until approval by the Boulder Valley School District board, which next meets on May 26.

Hartnett is a Broomfield native and a graduate of Broomfield High. He has spent the past six years as the district athletic director for the Adams 12 school district, but was eager to return to the hallways at a school with the sort of tradition and history as Boulder.

Hartnett also served previous stints as the athletic director at Nederland and Northglenn. He replaces Melissa Warfield, who will remain an assistant principal at Boulder after leading the Panthers’ athletic program for five years.

“The reason I wanted to go back into a school, and particularly Boulder, is so I could deal directly with the student-athletes,” Hartnett said. “In my work with CHSAA or as a district AD, you meet other 10, 15-year district ADs who always say something along the lines of ‘I was my most happiest when I was in the building dealing with student-athletes directly.’

“The Boulder situation is perfect for me. Such great history and tradition. To have this opportunity is exciting in so many ways for me. I’ve always been a Boulder County kid, so this is a little like coming back home.”

BVSD athletic director Michele DeBerry chose Hartnett out of a field of 40 applicants. While she indicated there were many impressive candidates to choose from, including several with a decade or more of experience as athletic directors at big schools, Hartnett’s overall level of experience as a district administrator and with CHSAA set him apart from the pack.

“He’s been an athletic director, but he also has the CHSAA experience and district AD experience,” DeBerry said. “In the past six years he’s seen his five high schools go through a variety of stages with their programs, giving him a broader perspective than even an AD that has been at their school for 10 years. There should be nothing that arises that he shouldn’t be able to facilitate.”

Pending board approval, Hartnett’s first official day isn’t until July 27, though he expects to spend time getting to know the Boulder coaching staff. Already a meeting is set for next week with Warfield, and a meeting with the coaching staff he is inheriting won’t be far behind.

“My priority is basically to learn the building and take all the programs to the next level, whether that’s in participation or success,” Hartnett said. “I can’t wait to be part of that team.”

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