Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer
LONGMONT — When Mike Apodaca decided to return to coach at his alma mater in Wyoming, it left not one but two varsity head coach openings at Silver Creek High School.
At the end of his lengthy tenure at Silver Creek, Apodaca was coaching both football and baseball, which was a heavy workload for one person and left a tall task for the school to replace head coaches at two of its traditionally largest sports. But the Raptors were able to do so in relatively short order this summer, and found internal candidates to be their best options moving forward.
Former assistant coaches Brian McGee and Brad Steward will take over as head coaches for Silver Creek football and baseball, respectively, starting immediately.
“I don’t think we went into it saying that hiring internally was definitely going to be the plan,” Silver Creek athletics director Kyle Schuyler said. “From an administrative standpoint and with our committee of parents and kids, we opened it up and both of those guys rose to the top. When Brian and Brad are your finalists, you’ve already got them in the building and those connections and relationships they’ve already build at the school will pay dividends moving forward.”
Schuyler said both hires were made official within the last three weeks.
McGee has been coaching with the Silver Creek football team since 2002 and has served as the Raptors’ defensive coordinator for the past 13 years. A Longmont native and graduate of Longmont High class of 1981, McGee brings a deep investment in high school sports in the local area as well as a familiarity with the football program throughout the many stages of its growth.
“It’s nice that I’ve been around the program for so long,” McGee said. “I’ve been there for the state championship years and for the years before that when we were building the program. I was fortunate to have spent a lot of time under Mike Apodaca and I’m thrilled to take the lead on this program. I’m also thrilled about the growth I’ve seen in our district and at our school and I’m really excited about our future.”
McGee inherits a program that appeared in three consecutive state championships games from 2011-13, and won the state title in 2012, but went 5-5 last season.
Steward, who graduated from Longmont in 2001, was an assistant coach for seven years at Shadow Ridge High School in Las Vegas, Nev., and for the past three years at Silver Creek. The Raptors baseball team went 9-10 last spring but will bring back 10 players with varsity experience, including five starters, next season.
“Mike left tour program in a good place,” Steward said. “We bring back a lot of upperclassmen and a lot of talent and I think the next couple years have a lot of promise for us with what we have coming up. We made the playoffs two out of four years under Mike and one year we went to the state tournament so we’ll just look to keep that going.”
In yet a third internal hire, Silver Creek has tabbed Sarah Whiteley as its next boys tennis coach.