Paul Mileto leaves Mesa Ridge to coach Fountain-Fort Carson basketball

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Photo - Mesa Ridge's head coach Paul Mileto gives instruction to his team. Sierra won the game 65-64 at Sierra High School on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE
Mesa Ridge's head coach Paul Mileto gives instruction to his team. Sierra won the game 65-64 at Sierra High School on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE

Paul Mileto spent four seasons building up Mesa Ridge boys' basketball program.

Now he's going to try doing something similar at Fountain-Fort Carson.

Just a few months after leading the Mesa Ridge boys’ basketball team to an 18-7 record and the round of 16 in the 4A state tournament, Mileto is leaving the Grizzlies to take charge at Fountain-Fort Carson, F-FC announced in an email.

Switching over to F-FC was not an easy choice, especially after building such a strong bond with the Grizzlies players.

"You have no idea," Mileto told The Gazette. "I lost a lot of sleep over that. It's part of the job. at some point you're going to move on."

Mileto coached a number of this season's graduating players, including his son Dylan, and next season's seniors since middle school.

But as a teacher at Fountain Middle School, Mileto is also familiar with the kids at Fountain-Fort Carson and the kids who will eventually become Trojans.

"Year in and year out, with me being at the middle school, I get to see that talent roll through," said Mileto, a teacher at the middle school for 18 years. "I’m going to get firsthand knowing what kids I’m getting at the high school and how to facilitate and communicate with them and help build that program."

The Trojans finished five games under .500 last season (10-15) under Greg Williams, tied for fourth in the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League. Williams was in charge at F-FC for six seasons.

The Grizzlies went 12-12 in 2015-16 and reached the playoffs, falling in the first round. They went 15-9 in 2014-15. In both ’17 and ’15 they were runner-up in the 4A CSML.

While in charge for four seasons, Mileto coached the Grizzlies to their first league title in his first season, 2013-14. He compiled a record of 60-38.

"It's an opportunity I couldn't pass up," he said. "I know my boys at Mesa Ridge will be OK because of what they've learned and all the hard work they've put in over the years, it doesn't matter who coaches them, they're going to be successful."