Times Staff Writer
GHS Girls Basketball — The first day of practice always comes with a mix of emotions — ranging from excitement to nervousness. That much is expected for any athletic program, but especially when more than half of the coaching staff is brand new.
When the Gunnison High School (GHS) girls basketball team stepped into the auxiliary gymnasium on Monday, two new coaches stood at the helm of the Cowboys coaching staff — varsity head coach Chad Terry and junior varsity head coach Taylor Gibson.
Terry, director of the Pathways program for local schools, enters his first year with the Cowboys after serving as principal of the Telluride Intermediate School for the past seven years.
While this will be Terry’s first head coaching job at the high school level, he has coached in the past. From 2013-2016, Terry was an assistant coach for the Telluride High School boys basketball team and previously served as head coach at the middle school level.
“We are a young team this year, which is not a bad thing, but we are super young,” Terry said.
For instance, the Cowboys’ practice Monday was noticeably void of a single senior athlete — with the team instead comprise of a handful of juniors and numerous sophomores and freshmen.
However, it was only the first practice, and a few seniors may join the roster as things progress.
Gibson joins the staff this season replacing Craig Cooper, who stepped down from coaching following the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of basketball and loved it so I decided to coach this season,” said Gibson.
Gibson isn’t new to the Cowboy family. She helped coach the GHS volleyball team for the last two seasons.
She also isn’t new to the Western Slope League. Gibson played basketball for Olathe High School — where she played mostly in the post but also possessed the ability to shoot.
While Gibson’s basketball career ended in high school, she went on to play volleyball for Otero Junior College.
“My coaching goal for this year is to make sure they understand the game of basketball and learn the necessary techniques,” said Gibson. “I also want the girls to go out and have fun, and want (them) to have a successful season.”
Tom Kattnig is the lone coach returning this season. He prepares to enter his fifth straight year of coaching the “C” team.
While it’s still early in the season, Kattnig already has set goals for his team heading into the 2019-20 campaign.
“I want to help them develop their skills and learn the game of basketball, as well as build team unity throughout the season,” said Kattnig.
Kattnig also noted that this is his 11th year coaching the sport of basketball.
The Cowboys will kick off their season on Thursday, Dec. 5. They’ll travel to Eaton to compete in a tournament over the course of three days. GHS will have to wait until early next year before hosting their first game of the season — against Aspen on Friday, Jan. 24 at 5:30 p.m.
(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)