For Ty Davies, Fort Morgan is truly home.
And after bringing home the 2021 3A football state championship earlier this month, he brought something else home with him.
Davies has been named the 2021 Denver Broncos High School Coach of the Year.
The fourth-year head coach led the Mustangs to a 12-1 season and the program's first state title since 1999. But it certainly wasn't a season without its adversity.
In week one of the season, the team traveled out of state to Scottsbluff, Nebraska for a tough battle against a good Bearcats team. The two teams had their game delayed due to lightning on that Friday, tied at seven going into halftime. The game was agreed to resume the following Monday night, where the Mustangs took a 31-14 victory.
Later in the season, Fort Morgan took on the consensus No. 1 team in 3A, league rival Roosevelt. After a knock-down-drag-out fight, the Roughriders claimed a 14-7 win.
Then in the playoffs, their three playoff games prior to the championship were won by a total of just 23 points. In the title game, a 21-17 win over Mead, it took a touchdown with just under four minutes to play, followed by a game sealing interception in their own territory with just 10 seconds left to claim the championship.
Thanks to Davies helping guide his staff and players through adversity all season, it culminated in a title and now some individual recognition for the head man himself.
The Broncos Coach of the Year is selected in partnership with the Colorado High School Activities Association.
Ty Davies bio
Years as Fort Morgan head coach (record): Fourth Year (31-10)
Overall head coaching record: 38-13
Coaching resume: Roosevelt Assistant Coach, Broomfield Assistant Coach, Crowley County Head Coach, Fort Morgan Assistant Coach, Fort Morgan Head Coach
Quotes from Ty Davies
What made you want to get into coaching?
Davies: I wanted to get into coaching because of the impact my coaches and teachers had on my life while I was growing up, especially my dad and mom. Obviously, growing up I got to see firsthand the impact that they had on players and the kids they taught. Throughout their careers we almost always had a different kid living with us because that's what they needed and our home was always open. From a young age, I knew I wanted to provide the same opportunities and experiences for kids that I received while playing sports and going through school.
What kind of coach would you say you are? What do you think your players would say?
Davies: I'd like to think that I'm more of a player's coach, but I'm not sure that they'd say the same, I can be fairly demanding sometimes. I think nowadays it's very important to understand the kids you're coaching and the different styles it takes to reach each kid and get the best out of them.
The things I would hope my players would say about me is how much I cared about them and that I always did my best to give every group the best chance and opportunity to be successful.
What kind of impact has football had on your life? Why do you think it's important for young men to be involved in football?
Davies: For me personally, football has helped shape who I am today. The relationships I have in my life from football, mainly from high school, are still some of the most important relationships I have to this day.
I think being involved in football is one of the best ways for young people to learn life lessons. Life isn't always easy or fair, and neither is the game of football. I truly believe that football requires great personal sacrifice, discipline, and dedication. By learning to give yourself to something that is greater than you as an individual, helps better prepare these young men to be good husbands, fathers, and contributing adults.
Did you see a championship team in your squad at the beginning of fall camp?
Davies: I knew we were going to be good in our skill areas and thought we had the heart and dedication, but honestly, I didn't know if our lack of depth and the schedule we had would let us survive the season. After we had to go back to Scottsbluff on a Monday to finish that game and to see how our kids handled that adversity and to beat a really good team, I knew we had something special. In the end, though, it took a lot of kids stepping up at different times of the year to make us successful.
Your only setback during the season was to Roosevelt in a tight game, what did your team take away from that game that helped them the rest of the way?
Davies: In the Roosevelt game, much like a lot of our season, our kids had to learn how to play in tight games and battle. Learning to focus on the details of the game and to handle adversity helped us through the playoffs and in crucial moments.
Having more time to reflect on it now, what is it like to be able to call you, your staff, and your players state champions?
Davies: I'm not sure that it's actually completely sunk in yet, but I think one of my favorite parts of the last week has been reflecting on different special moments of the season. There were so many amazing things that my coaches and kids did to make this happen and being able to reflect on it daily has been very cool. The fact that these kids were able to dream, then work so hard for that dream, and make it become a reality has been incredible. To know that they can look back on this their whole life and say, 'we did this,' is so special.
What has this journey been like, going from Fort Morgan assistant, to head coach, to state champs?
Davies: I think my coaching journey, specifically in Fort Morgan, has been nothing but amazing for me. To have Coach Kahl and Coach Chisum's support and to take over as a head coach in a program like this, is truly a blessing for me and my family. My wife Audra and I are so blessed to be here. I took over a program that already had the tools to be successful. I've also been very fortunate to have the coaching staff that I have. We have a great mix of veteran coaches that I can lean on and also some excellent young coaches that bring great energy and passion.
Another major reason for my success here in Fort Morgan is my defensive coordinator, Coach Langford. Not only is he a phenomenal defensive coordinator, but he is really my co-head coach and has believed in me and what I've been trying to do from the beginning.
For me personally, the greatest thing about coaching here is the fact that I get to do it with my father and little brother. Even my sister helps run our strength and conditioning. Coaching with them and seeing what an outstanding coach my brother has become is undoubtedly the highlight of my coaching career. To do this with them is unbelievable.
When it comes to the state championship, the real reason we were able to do it is this senior class. They have believed and bought into what we are trying to do with the program from the start. They have changed the culture and expectations here, from the weight room to how we practice and play.
What does the community of Fort Morgan mean to you, and what was it like to bring home a title to the people of this town?
Davies: This community and also our extended Fort Morgan football family really mean the world to me and it's why I'm here. Since I had left Broomfield, this was the first place that felt like home and I'm proud to say I'm from Fort Morgan and my wife and kids call this home.
Our community is blue-collar but is very caring, people here rally around each other and support each other. The last few weeks of the season were honestly some of the coolest moments of my life. The way the community and people like Joel Dreessen rallied around our team was something special. I think bringing home the state championship was something that was shared with the whole community and that everyone really felt like they were a part of this year and this team. I think that this group was such a great group of young men and they represented our community so well, that people could be proud of them and it was easy to rally around them.
Story Written By: Dan Whitaker / CHSAANow.com
Photo Credit: Brad Cochi / CHSAANow.com