The Gazette 2016 5A-4A Football Coach of the Year: Rob Royer, Rampart

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Rob Royer knows Rampart. Born and raised in Academy School District 20, he graduated from the northern Colorado Springs high school in 1991. His wife, brother, sister and sister-in-law went to Rampart. Even his mom taught at Rampart.

He also knows that banner too well. The one that hangs in the Rams' gymnasium. The one that perhaps has taken the longest time among the school's sports programs to get an update.

Now that the Rams have won their first league football title since 2001, change is coming.

"It's nice to be able to put a new number up there," said Royer, whose Rams beat Vista Ridge in the regular-season finale to clinch the 4A Pikes Peak League championship, snapping a 15-year drought. "To be able to win a district title is special. My coaching staff has a couple of Rampart grads, and we're all real passionate about our kids and school. It's been a while since we've been able to say we're defending champs."

That dedication and success earned Royer The Gazette 5A-4A Football Coach of the Year honor.

Although the playoff journey ended in a tough 9-6 home loss to Greeley West in the first round, Royer knows the seeds have been planted for future years.

"Now that we've been there, we know what it takes," Royer said. "We're already back in offseason workouts, ready to keep it going.

"Next time, maybe it's us moving on."