Jay Madden is a no-nonsense guy. And that's exactly why he's good at what he does. In any given year, Madden's Pomona Panthers are likely to contend for a Class 5A state championship. They hit paydirt with a big win over Eaglecrest in 2017, but have had a shot at a state title in several other seasons.
Madden has his team off to a solid start this season at 3-0 and that includes a close win over then No. 6 Ralston Valley last week. A tough game with Columbine is still ahead but being 3-0 against tough 5A competition is no fluke. As a result, Madden has been named the Denver Broncos High School Coach of the Week.
The Broncos Coach of the Week is selected in partnership with CHSAA and the Broncos. The High School Coach of the Week is selected in partnership with the Broncos and CHSAA. Find a complete list of winners on this page.
Jay Madden bio
Years as head coach: 26 (214-85)
Years at Pomona: 18 (3-0 this season)
Previous stops: Golden defensive coordinator 1992; Alameda assistant coach (1993-94); Alameda head coach (1995); Dakota Ridge head coach (1996-2000); Mullen head coach (2001-02); Pomona head coach (2003-present).
Question: Why do you coach?
Madden: Because I love helping kids accomplish things they didn't think they could do.
Q: Whether it's winning a state title or seeing a kid maybe breakthrough at a certain level, what's the most satisfying part of coaching for you?
Madden: Just watching kids grow so much and how they mature and how much they get out of this experience. It's not about state championships and that stuff. To me, it's about watching kids become better people and better football players.
Q: Who had an influence on you that made you want to become a coach?
Madden: My dad was a head high school coach for 35 years. So my dad would be number one. And then Ed Kintz, my high school coach, and Gary Klatt, my high school coach, would be the other two.
Q: Through all the time that you've been doing this, what's your measurement of success, especially if it's not about state titles; what makes a team successful in your eyes in each individual year?
Madden: Maximize your potential. Try to win one more game than you should. And as our goal every year with this team is a nine-win team, we want to try to win 10 games. If we're a six-win team, we want to try to win seven. We want to maximize our potential, no matter what that might be.
Q: With this year being obviously the most unusual of years you've probably coached, would it be safe to say that these kids will get a learning experience playing high school football that is unique to any other class that you've taught?
Madden: Absolutely. This has been the craziest time of our lives, obviously, but these kids have had to be so resilient and as coaches we've had to be resilient because the roller coaster ride we've been on is hard to handle. Certainly, you have to step up, you can't just roll over, so you've got to step up and make it happen.
Q: What do you think it's like from your kids, from your kid's perspective, what do you think it's like to be coached by you?
Madden: Demanding. Fun. We want to build relationships that last forever. I want them to know how extremely proud I am of them.
Q: Who comes to your mind when I ask you who's the most memorable kid that you've ever coached and not necessarily from what they were able to do on the field. But if someone were to ask you about kids that you've coached previously, who always jumps in your mind and why?
Madden: Wow. Clint Parker. Just an incredible, incredible human being. And we lost him way too young. So that's why he pops into my mind the most.
Q: When you have a situation like that, how do you use it to make sure the kids are truly appreciative of the chances that they're given when doing something they love like playing high school football?
Madden: We have an award named the Clint Parker Dog Soldier Award, so that's the kids we talk about being unselfish and being there for each other. And I think they've had to do that a lot this year. So that's why having Clint as our backdrop is pretty good.
Q: What's the toughest thing for you to do as a coach? What's the most difficult aspect of the job, which then also would probably make it the most rewarding?
Madden: I love it all. The only thing that bothers me is the paperwork and all that kind of junk that we have to deal with eligibility and all that stuff. As far as coaching goes, I love it all.
Q: What's your favorite thing to do on a daily basis when it comes to coaching your kids?
Madden: Just the interaction in the weight room that we haven't had this year, you know, get to know people and, I love film. I just love to sit down and watch film and try to figure out how to stop people and how to score points. I also just love implementing it every Monday and Tuesday.
Q: What was the most memorable part of that state championship win a couple years ago? It was quite a thriller with you guys and Eaglecrest.
Madden: Yeah, I think we were up by 14 and then next thing you knew we were down by 14. Watching Ryan Marquez get that last first down was something I'll definitely never forget it.
Q: What are you hoping your former student-athletes, whether it's today, whether it's 20 years down the line, if you're no longer coaching by then, what do you want them to remember the most about you?
Madden: Just how passionate I was about them and the game of football and trying to help them become better people.
Story Written By: Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com
Photo Credit: Lance Wendt