Long wait pays off for head coach Turri
FARMERS KORNER Justin Turri first applied for the position of Summit High School boys soccer head coach eight years ago. He was 24, relatively fresh out of college, a confident former high school all-star with no previous coaching experience. Peter Shafroth, his competition for the head coach position, was coming to Summit with two decades of coaching experience in Denver. Easy choice for any athletic director.Although Turri didnt get the job in 1999, he signed on as Shafroths top assistant with the hope that someday hed get another shot at the top post.It took eight years, but Turri finally gets his chance now. The 32-year-old Buffalo, N.Y., native was named the Tigers head coach earlier this month, seven months after Shafroth, Turris good friend and mentor, retired to a life split between the ocean and the mountains.Its not going to be that much different except in the way Im going to approach the job, said Turri, who was always given much more say in how the team was run than most assistants get. I was pretty lucky with Peter because he was pretty much the disciplinarian and I got to goof around with the kids. Now Im going to be the disciplinarian and Ill pretty much be in charge of the whole program so I cant really goof around as much as I used to.Perhaps that role will fall to Shafroth now. According to Turri, the former head coach recently asked his former assistant for permission to help out on a volunteer basis this fall. Turri, of course, said yes.Itll be better for Peter because now he can miss when he wants to miss without feeling bad about it, Turri said.According to SHS athletic director Gretchen Nies, there were a number of qualified candidates for the head coach position this spring, but she went with the one with the longest tenure and the closest ties to the job.I think Peter was an excellent mentor for Justin, said Nies, the Tigers 12th-year AD. Hes definitely got good rapport with the kids and he brings the modern aspects of the game. … Im excited to see how Justin does as the man in charge.Turri has coached the Tigers club team basically comprised of all the Summit players not involved with another spring sport for the past six years, so he wont be entering the head coaching ranks totally green. In addition, the Tigers return eight starters from a team that advanced to the state tournament last fall. It was the fourth time in Turris eight years as an assistant that Summit qualified for state.Five head coach jobs-still openIn other Summit High coaching news, there remain five open head coaching jobs, Nies said: golf, baseball, boys swimming and diving, boys basketball and tennis. The tennis post became available when Kate Walker, who led three Tigers doubles teams to the state tournament this spring, resigned to accept a counselors job in Grand County.Nies said the only head coaching job shes close to filling is the boys basketball position. She made an offer to an out-of-state candidate and expects to hear from him early next week, she said.Other available SHS coaching jobs include assistant positions for football, golf, boys soccer, boys basketball, girls basketball and baseball.Anyone interested in any of the jobs can call the high school at (970) 547-9311.Devon ONeil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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