A pair of Bayfield High School head coaches are hanging up the clipboards.
Cross country coach Pat Vaughn officially resigned this week after six years as coach, five heading up the cross country program; girls basketball coach Ronnie Posey also resigned after three years as skipper.
“I firmly believe, I told our athletes when I formally resigned, to be a good coach, you need four different things,” Vaughn said. “You need to be organized, focused, put in the proper amount of time, and you need to be passionate about it.
“I can’t give the proper amount of time that I think is necessary. ... I’m not as passionate as in years past.
“And maybe that just comes with age,” he said.
Vaughn said he’s been running or coaching distance running for 40 years, since he ran his first race as a 13-year-old.
After all that time – plus increased work and travel as the president of the Southern Ute tribe’s development division – it’s time for an influx of fresh blood.
“It’s a reality,” Vaughn said. “If you can’t do it with everything you’ve got, I don’t think you should be doing it. And that’s anything you do, whether it’s running or pushing a broom or driving a car.
“It’s time, I think, that somebody with maybe a little more youthful enthusiasm or maybe somebody with just a strong passion step in,” Vaughn said.
Ditto for Posey.
When he took the girls basketball job three years ago, Posey planned on a short stay to provide stability for the program before “more energetic blood could graduate into the coaching position.”
Last season, that energetic blood looked like it would be son and assistant coach Jacob Posey, who took a job in April with Durango’s Cross Bar X Christian youth ranch, instead.
“I really enjoyed my time there,” Jacob Posey said.
“It just seemed like maybe it’s a good time,” Ronnie Posey said of departing from the program with his son. “He was really the energy and the brains and the driving force behind the whole thing, and I was more of the support, anyway.”
Vaughn’s accomplishments at Bayfield include coaching Eva-Lou Edawards to a cross country state championship in October. But he said he hopes life lessons are his lasting legacy for the Wolverines.
“I just hope I’ve had a positive effect on the student-athletes that we had in the program,” he said.
Ronnie Posey’s résumé includes leading the 2011-12 team into the CHSAA Class 3A Girls Basketball State Championships – the program’s first trip to the elite eight in 31 years. His three year record at BHS was 28-30.
“The accomplishments that need to be noted are what the girls did. We had three really good teams,” Posey said.
“The reason I always coach is the very thing that we were always able to take away: the relationships with the girls that we build. We tried to win every single game we played, but beside that it’s the girls that call back in five or 10 or 15 years.”
BHS athletic director Dave Preszler said the district will miss both coaches.
“Both are high quality individuals and coaches,” Preszler said in an email to The Durango Herald.
A search for a girls basketball coach will begin immediately. Meanwhile, the searches for a new boys basketball and cross country coaches are homing in on a couple of candidates, Preszler said.
BHS boys basketball head coach Bill Hesford resigned in March.
The emphasis in filling all three openings is hiring teachers from within the district, Preszler said.