It wasn't Jedd Sims' idea to make the journey to the Pikes Peak region from his family's longtime home in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
He's just glad his wife, Allison, had other visions.
"She had a dream about Colorado Springs; she had been out here skiing with her dad a bunch of times," said Sims who led Peyton to a 19-5 mark, a 14-game turnaround from his first season in 2015-16. "We wanted to try something different, and I was leaning toward Texas since I have cousins there. My wife set me up at a hotel near Garden of the Gods, and what's not to like about the scenery there? I started applying and got a teaching gig and coaching gig. Here we are."
Sims, who coached boys' teams at Rhinebeck and Pine Plains during 18 seasons in New York, got his new start in 2014 as a middle school physical education teacher at Falcon Middle School and C-squad boys coach at Discovery Canyon. When the Peyton job opened up the next year, Sims applied and got the opportunity, knowing full well the obstacles he faced as the program's fourth coach in as many seasons.
"At first, it was kind of a struggle having them buy in, not knowing if I was going to be around," said Sims, whose first season ended at 5-15. "We turned it around in the second half and something clicked. We knew we had all the pieces coming back to be successful."
By December, the Panthers had eclipsed their win total from a season before as part of a 10-0 start and ultimately lost to a hot-shooting Highland team one game shy of reaching the 2A state tournament.
"I'm proud of our guys," Sims said. "They all bought in to their roles. They were the true essence of a team."