Summit football coach James Wagner named Denver Broncos state coach of the week |

Summit football coach James Wagner named Denver Broncos state coach of the week

Summit High School head coach James Wagner speaks to his players after the Tigers' 56-0 shutout win over the Skyview Wolverines on Sept. 3 in Breckenridge.
John Hanson/For the Summit Daily News

With the Summit Tigers varsity football team (3-2) possessing its best record heading into October in years, Tigers head coach James Wagner was awarded the Denver Broncos high school football coach of the week.

The honor is awarded to one coach each week of the fall football season. Wagner received the award Monday, Sept. 27, as the Tigers have their best record this deep into the season since they went 6-4 in 2011.

The Michigan native is 7-13 in his three years as Summit’s head coach after previously also working as an assistant at Fossil Ridge High School, an assistant at Gaylord High School and a graduate assistant at Taylor University in Indiana, where he played football as an undergrad.

With five 3A Central West league games ahead of them over five consecutive weekends — from Oct. 9 through Nov. 5 — Wagner has Summit in the running for its first playoff appearance since 2009.

Wagner said the award is a cool thing for him to receive and that he regards it as a team award.

“It’s a testament to how much our coaching staff has been working,” Wagner said. “It’s a testament to how much the kids are buying into the process and believing in the things we are teaching them and executing them, as well. I wouldn’t be able to do this without our staff and the kids we have buying into the work. It’s great for Summit football, and I’m happy we’re getting some recognition. But I know our toughest games are ahead of us and, these next five games, keeping these kids focused is a big thing.”

With the award, the Tigers football program will receive a $1,000 donation to the program from the Broncos and $1,000 from Gatorade. He said the program would most likely use the money to finance new equipment, namely helmets.

“I’m just a small-town guy trying to make a difference in a program,” Wagner said.

The Broncos High School Coach of the Week is selected in partnership with the Colorado High School Activities Association and the Denver Broncos.

In his coach of the week interview with, Wagner said he feels the program’s improvement means a lot not just to Summit High School but also the Summit County community.

“There is something special about this sport that can pull people together and bond over supporting a team that represents a community,” Wagner said. “I know I am entirely grateful for all the support our school and community has given us, and I know that I always try to utilize having my guys give back to the community. I always tell my guys that we cannot expect the community to come out and support us if we do not go out and support them in any way we can.”

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