Steamboat Springs High School announces new boys lacrosse coach

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— It took months of consultation, but Steamboat Springs High School finally has hired the man who will replace Bob Hiester, the legendary Sailors coach most credited with introducing the sport of lacrosse to the town.

This week, Steamboat athletic director Luke DeWolfe announced Jay Lattimore would fill the boys lacrosse void.

Lattimore served as head junior varsity lacrosse coach at Wheat Ridge High School near Denver for the past four years. Wheat Ridge’s varsity won the class 4A state championship a year ago.

A hiring committee of administrators, parents, players and a current lacrosse coach was assembled in the search process and passed down recommendations to DeWolfe and Principal Kevin Taulman. After sifting through numerous potential suitors from across the country, DeWolfe said, Lattimore was their man.

“It wasn’t an easy decision by any means,” DeWolfe said. “We had some really solid candidates. At the end, Jay was the best fit at this time.”

Steamboat originally was seeking a teacher-coach tandem candidate but decided to reopen the application process as a coach-only position, delaying the process.

Lattimore said that when he moved to Steamboat not long ago, he didn’t come with the intention of taking over the lacrosse program. But after hearing “through the grapevine” that there might be an opening, and getting some encouragement from friends, he decided to pursue the vacancy.

“The big thing is I’m trying to bring my knowledge and experience,” Lattimore said. “Lacrosse means a lot to me.”

DeWolfe praised Lattimore’s passion for the game and his ability to relate to the players he’s coached. Lattimore will be taking over a Steamboat program that has battled in the state playoffs each of the past two years, including an appearance in the state semifinals last year, but hasn’t come away with that elusive 4A championship.

DeWolfe hopes the Sailors now can make that leap forward.

“I have a lot of faith in Jay,” DeWolfe said. “I wouldn’t have hired him if I didn’t. Going forward, I’m confident it will be the best for the program.”

Hiester announced his retirement from coaching and teaching in the spring after pacing the sideline and working in the classroom for the past 45 years. Hiester called his retirement “the hardest decision I’ve had to make.”

“More and more kids have gotten involved,” DeWolfe said about Steamboat embracing lacrosse. “Bob, I think, was a pivotal part of that. He resigned and has moved on. … I think we’re ready now to take the next step.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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