The next man to lead the Monarch High School football program is already a community favorite.
The school announced Wednesday afternoon the hiring of longtime football assistant Aaron Paddock as its next head coach.
Paddock had been the defensive coordinator for two decades under the legendary coach, Phil Bravo, who won 307 games in his coaching career before retiring at the end of the 2021 fall season. He came over to Monarch with Bravo in 1998 after spending the previous three years with him at Centaurus.
Said school athletic director Eric Gustafson in an email to the Monarch community: “Many, if not most of you, already know Coach Paddock. He is a lifelong Louisville-Superior community member, teacher, and coach.”
Adding, “In all of his endeavors, Mr. Paddock gets excellent reviews and forms top-notch relationships with those around him. Students in his classes as well as athletes he coaches all rank, Mr. Paddock, as one of their favorites.”
Paddock, a math teacher at the school, said he was told the news Tuesday night but was told to stay mum about it until the official announcement the following afternoon. An assistant coach for the lone undefeated 5A girls basketball team coming into weekend, his excitement bubbled that night while on the bench.
“We had a game and our athletic director asked me if I could keep it a little bit on the down low so that we could go through the proper channels, make sure we got the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed,” Paddock said. “I’m sitting there being a bench coach for basketball and I’m just smiling and excited, but trying to keep it to myself for as long as possible.”
When news broke, those feelings of excitement poured in from all over the community.
It is with great pleasure that we have the opportunity to introduce Mr. Aaron Paddock as the next Head Football Coach here at Monarch High School. Good luck Coach AP and Give it Go!!! #skoyotes #copreps @CoachPaddock27 @BVSDcolorado @BVSDActivities @CHSAA @BoCoPreps @postpreps pic.twitter.com/NLmJIt6sv6
— Monarch Athletics (@mohi_athletics) January 19, 2022
Brother Ezra Paddock, the school’s wrestling coach, cut into an interview about a wrestling tournament to boast Wednesday.
“I am super excited for him,” he said. “He’s going to do an amazing job.”
Super proud of my big bro @CoachPaddock27 the new head football coach at Monarch HS! He will do an amazing job!!
— ezra paddock (@ezpaddock) January 19, 2022
Bravo, meanwhile, tweeted: “I cannot tell you how pleased I am to see that our football program will be led by someone who (has) bled black and gold forever. This is one of the greatest days of my life.”
Aaron Paddock has been named head football coach at MOHI. I cannot tell you how pleased I am to see that our football program will be led by someone who is bled black and gold forever. This is one of the greatest days of my life. Love you AP! Give it a GO! @CoachPaddock27
— Phil Bravo (@PhilBravodblwng) January 20, 2022
Learning from Bravo, Paddock said the two are “best friends” and talk daily. In taking over, he said he’ll take every lesson he absorbed from the 300-plus-win coach but won’t try to mirror him in every way.
I want to “just be me and do things the way I want to do them or handle it,” said Paddock, who walks down to Bravo’s school office regularly. “But the man won (more than 300 games), so you couldn’t ask for a better mentor or friend.”
Like his predecessor, Paddock said the focus on the football field first and foremost will be building strong relationships.
“Our program has always been primarily focused on relationships with young people,” Paddock said. “With that, we are absolutely going to be focused on serving our kids and helping them reach their maximum potential, not only as athletes but as students and young people. That is our primary goal.”