Thanks to teamwork, prep athletic directors hit the ground running in new places

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More than two weeks elapsed between when Sierra athletic director Brian Petzold accepted an offer to take a similar position at Sand Creek to Thursday, when the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education approved the hiring.

But don't think for a moment that Petzold has been waiting around to get started on his new endeavor.

"There's a lot of stuff going on, especially with renovations," said Petzold, who spent the past four years at Sierra, three as athletic director, after teaching physical education at Wasson for the final five years of its high school existence. "I've gotten a lot of help in the transition piece, to find out what's been working and how to keep building on that success."

Petzold has gotten a crash course from previous Scorpions AD Jared Felice, even though he took the athletic director post at Fountain-Fort Carson in April.

For Felice, it's just a common courtesy. After all, Felice was afforded the same luxury from outgoing Trojans AD Chris James after he accepted the position of principal at Pueblo West.

"I'm walking into a great situation," said Felice, a 2001 Mesa Ridge graduate who spent his first nine years in the working world as a teacher and coach at Fountain-Fort Carson. "By being able to meet with Chris and talk about how the schools work, it has helped the transition."

At Coronado, Andy Colgate sat at his desk late Thursday afternoon, making sure his successor has everything in place for a smooth transition.

"It's important to finish things up," said Colgate, who announced this spring he would not return for a third academic year as athletic director. "I loved the job. It's just time for a change, for my family."

No new AD had been announced for Coronado as of Thursday evening.

Petzold awaits meeting his new family at Sand Creek, although it's difficult to leave friendly faces behind.

"I never had any intention to leave Sierra," Petzold said. "I wasn't actively seeking out other opportunities, but sometimes the right opportunity comes to you, and you take a risk and go. It's bittersweet. I think Sand Creek is a strong school and is headed in a positive direction."

For Felice, he won't get to see the completion of a project he helped champion, the ballot issue that led to a $7.5 million remodel of Sand Creek. But he wants to help the next AD keep momentum.

"D49 was gracious to allow me that time to transition, both to help me and for me to help Brian," Felice said.