Greeley West pays tribute to former baseball coaches ahead of Skyline game – Greeley Tribune

Tracing the lineage of coaches in Greeley West’s baseball program is like playing connect the dots.

Naturally, when nearly a dozen former Spartans head coaches and assistants took to the field on Thursday afternoon, there weren’t many “nice to meet you” exchanges. Heck, there wasn’t even a lot of “long without seeing”.

Just before the first pitch of Greeley West’s Northern Colorado Class 4A/5A Athletic Conference game against Skyline at Butch Butler Field, the Spartans recognized and honored many former coaches of the program.

The coaches exchanged pleasantries and received gifts – like framed Greeley West jerseys – before posing for photos.

The Tribune caught up with a trio of former Spartans head coaches.

Here’s what everyone had to say about the ceremonial pre-game festivities:

John Christensen, Greeley West’s second head coach (1968-75)

“It was special and very nice for Coach Ryan (Jones, the current Spartans head coach) to do this. Some of my kids aren’t even here anymore. And here I am at 82. It’s been almost 50 years we won the state championship 50 years ago we won four Northern League Conference baseball championships That was a long time ago But I’ll tell you what, winning the League of the North four times and go to the state final twice and win it once – I had really good kids.

GREELEY, CO – MAY 05: Former head coach John Christensen, left, waves as he is announced alongside Greeley West’s Will Broderius (4), second left, Greeley West’s Preston Natividad (11) , second from right, and former head coach Dick Ziegler, right, at a ceremony honoring former coaches of the Greeley West Spartans baseball team before the Spartans’ game against the Skyline Falcons at Butch Butler Field at Greeley on May 5, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)

Dick Ziegler, Greeley West’s fourth head coach (1990-2006)

“It’s nice to be honoured. You think about it, you have a lot of good memories. And a lot of those guys have played for me in the past. So it was good to reconnect with some of them and see them again. I feel privileged to be part of the Greeley West baseball program.

GREELEY, CO - MAY 05: Former head coach Dick Ziegler, center, heads for home plate with Greeley West's Preston Natividad (11), right, during a ceremony honoring former coaches of Greeley West Spartans baseball team before the Spartans game against the Skyline Falcons at Butch Butler Field in Greeley on May 5, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)
GREELEY, CO – MAY 05: Former head coach Dick Ziegler, center, heads for home plate with Greeley West’s Preston Natividad (11), right, during a ceremony honoring former coaches of Greeley West Spartans baseball team before the Spartans game against the Skyline Falcons at Butch Butler Field in Greeley on May 5, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)

Brian Holmes, Greeley West’s fifth head coach (2007-19)

“It’s really cool to be able to bring everyone together. … At one point we had done 50 years of baseball with five guys (as head coach). Some schools go five years with five different coaches. So we have a lot talked about the stability we had within the baseball program at Greeley West. … I’ve coached a lot of great kids and done those runs through to the last four (in 2006 and 2010). But also, being able to coach my two kids – Brandon (2014) and Tyler (2019) – were awesome Not many people get the chance to coach their own kids from tee-ball through high school.

In addition to the aforementioned head coaches, Larry Brunz was also honored. Brunz was the Spartans’ third head coach (1976-89). He was unable to attend the ceremony.

In addition, numerous college assistants were honored – including Juils Jorgensen, Gary Bracken, Jim Jorgensen, Jack Bumgarner, David Falter and Eric Johnson – as well as former players and other program contributors.

GREELEY, CO - MAY 05: Current and former coaches and players stand together for a photo behind home plate during a ceremony honoring former coaches of the Greeley West Spartans baseball team before the Spartans game against the Skyline Falcons at Butch Butler Field in Greeley May 5, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/staff photographer)
GREELEY, CO – MAY 05: Current and former coaches and players stand together for a photo behind home plate during a ceremony honoring former coaches of the Greeley West Spartans baseball team before the Spartans game against the Skyline Falcons at Butch Butler Field in Greeley May 5, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/staff photographer)

Bobby Fernandez covers high school sports for the Greeley Tribune. Reach him at (970) 392-4478, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @BobbyDFernandez.

Comments are closed.