When Jared Yannacito took over as Golden's head coach prior to the 2017 season, the Demons hadn't been to the playoffs since 2002. The year prior to his arrival, they went 1-9 and got outscored 327-74.
That seems like a far cry from where the Golden football program is today. The team is 25-17 since Yannacito took over, including playoff appearances in 2017 and 2019.
Golden is well on its way to another successful season at the 4A ranks, as they have started the year 3-0 with wins over recent playoff powerhouses Broomfield, Green Mountain, and Skyline. The Demons checked in at No. 8 in the most recent coaches poll.
For taking a program that some viewed as "unfixable" and making them a consistent winner, Yannacito has been named this week's Denver Broncos High School Coach of the Week.
The Broncos coach of the week is selected in partnership with CHSAA.
Jared Yannacito bio
Years as Golden head coach (record): Fifth Year (25-17)
Overall head coaching record: 25-17
Coaching resume: Boulder High School assistant coach (2009), Pomona assistant coach (2010-2016), Golden head coach (2017-present)
Quotes from Jared Yannacito
Why do you coach?
Yannacito: I coach to be a positive role model to my players on and off the field. Coaching is my platform to do a small part to help inspire, positively influence and teach life-lessons to the younger generation.
Why do you coach the way that you coach?
Yannacito: Because I know the impact a good coach can have on a kid's life forever. A great coach and player bond cannot be broken, and they often reach out to you again in life. That's how you know you are doing something well.
What do you think it's like to be coached by you?
Yannacito: I try to coach with a lot of energy and passion each day. I enjoy having fun with my players, but they also know when it is time to go to work. I think my players know that I push them to believe in themselves and their potential on and off the field.
What has been your favorite memory from being the HC at Golden thus far?
Yannacito: There has been so many great memories, it is hard to pick one. However, that first year was very special. The coaches and players made a commitment to "Close the Gap" at Golden High School and we did that. The previous year they went 1-9 and got outscored 74-327. Our first year we ended up going 7-3 and making the playoffs for the first time in 16 years. To see the joy that brought the players, coaches and community is something I will never forget.
What has it been like taking the Golden program from where it was before you got there, and turning it into a consistent winner?
Yannacito: None of the success happens without the players and coaches that are around me. I have been very lucky to have passionate coaches who believe in the vision and work extremely hard each week to put our players in a spot to be successful. My athletic director, JC Summer, and my principal, Brian Conroy, have also helped to get weightlifting classes for the team and have been supportive since day one. It is a group effort to get a program going in the right direction.
After knocking off three consistent playoff contenders in the first three weeks, what are your expectations for this team the rest of the season?
Yannacito: To keep getting better each week. We need to stay humble and hungry. We are 3-0, but we have a ton of room for improvement. Each week we need to prepare like we are 0-0 and stay focused for the end goal. We will not get complacent and just like every team we have to stay healthy.
How would you describe the culture of Golden football when you took over in 2017, and what is the culture surrounding the program today?
Yannacito: When I first got here and talked to the kids, I understood that the football team was not something to be proud of at the school. The kids didn't even enjoy wearing their jerseys on game days because they struggled for so many years. In fact, I had many coaches and people telling me not to take the Golden job. Many people thought it was unfixable.
The culture now is completely different. The kids are proud to wear the maroon and white. We have a family culture at Golden and each kid knows they add value in the program. The coaches preach being a well-rounded student athlete as well as letting them know they are more than athletes. We value them for more than what they can do on the field. I believe that has also helped change our culture and the number of players that want to be a part of it. I am lucky to be at Golden and look forward to what we are building.
Story Written By: Dan Whitaker/CHSAANow.com
Photo Credit: Lance Wendt/wendt5280.com