When Luis Corona took control of the Sierra Grande 6-man football program prior to the 2018 season, after serving as an assistant coach, he inherited a squad that had back-to-back winning seasons under former head coach Matt Lucero. It was a program that had momentum to continue to build upon the success and reach some new heights.
Fast forward to the 2020 season, Corona entered the campaign on two straight 3-5 seasons, which was obviously not up to his expectations. However, 2020 was a different season for so many more ways than just one. When the dust settled at the end of the year, Corona had guided the Panthers to a 4-2 overall record, and a perfect 3-0 record in the A-6 Southwest league, for the school's first league title in 30 years.
Now in 2021, with that new momentum from the previous season, Corona has his team off to a roaring 4-0 start, including 2-0 in the league. That has the Panthers up to eighth in the latest CHSAA coaches poll, and fourth in the CHSAA RPI.
Corona has improved the winning tradition already set at Sierra Grande this year and has the student athletes believing that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to. He has also brought state-wide attention to the small town of Blanca. Corona is this week's Denver Broncos High School Coach of the Week.
The Broncos coach of the week is selected in partnership with CHSAA.
Luis Corona bio
Years as Sierra Grande head coach (record): Fourth Year (14-12)
Overall head coaching record: 14-12
Coaching resume: Sierra Grande head coach (2018-Pres.), Sierra Grande wrestling coach (2018-Pres.)
Quotes from Luis Corona
Why do you coach?
Corona: I coach because I love to watch the kids compete. The excitement they get when they get a big run or create a turnover is the best feeling, especially when you see the smile on their faces. Just being a part of that atmosphere is a reward in itself. Especially when you see hard work and determination paying off.
Why do you coach the way that you coach?
Corona: I coach to prepare athletes for the future by pushing them to their limits, which shows them that life has challenges you have to meet head on.
What do you think it's like to be coached by you?
Corona: I would like to think that it is both fun and challenging. We have laughable moments as well as serious, tough ones. In the end, my goal is to prepare them for life.
What has been your favorite memory from being the HC at Sierra Grande?
Corona: My favorite memory was accomplishing a team goal that hasn't been achieved in 30 years, which was winning the league title last season. Especially during these unprecedented times which posed the challenge of keeping my team focused and maintaining a positive mindset. This just shows that when you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
What has it been like this season starting the year 4-0 and getting ranked?
Corona: The season has been good to us! Our goals are set high. Each practice and game our focus is set on working hard to attain those goals one by one. Taking one game at a time pushes us to not focus on ranking.
Describe what it has taken for you and your staff to get this team from where it was when you took over the head coaching job to where it is today?
Corona: It has taken hard work and dedication from myself, my assistant coach, and team to really learn the game and work during the off season to get stronger physically and mentally.
What does this football team mean to the community?
Corona: The football team is drawing more and more of a crowd with each game. It brings an excitement to all ages. Our team shirt quote this season sums it up, 'Strong Alone, Unstoppable Together.'
Story Written By: Dan Whitaker/CHSAANow.com
Photo Credit: Vibrant Photography