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High School Coach of the Week: Gary Heide


Bayfield's Gary Heide knew it was going to be a special season. He told his senior-laden team before the season that it's okay to dream big. "We do dream big," Heide said. "But, if you give it all you've got, there's never a fail." Bayfield (7-0) is undefeated after last week's 21-3 win over Pagosa Springs. In 2015, Bayfield went undefeated en route to a Class 2A state title. Heide sees a similar confidence in this year's team. He sees similar leadership from his seniors. As a coach, Heide wants to give back to the community, to influence his players in a positive manner. Heide is this week's Denver Broncos High School Coach of the Week. The Broncos coach of the week is selected in partnership with the Broncos, CHSCA, and the InSideOut Coaching Initative, which seeks to transform the current win-at-all-costs sports culture. Find a complete list of winners on this page.

Gary Heide
Years as head coach: 13 (69-58 overall)
Years at Bayfield: 6 (49-13)
Previous stops: Breckenridge High School (Minnesota) assistant coach (1997-2001), Soroco assistant coach (2002), Soroco head coach (2002-2005), Hayfield (Minnesota) head coach (2006-2008), West Grand assistant coach (2009-2011), Bayfield head coach (2011-present)

Q: Why did you get into coaching?
Heide: I got into coaching because I felt it was a way that I could give back. To give back to my community, to help young people. I really enjoy working with young people and trying to direct their life in a positive manner in the right direction. Throughout my career, I had a lot of coaches that I looked up to and really admired. It always gave me a lot of motivation to be like them. I really appreciate all those men that helped me along the way. I think most of all, like I said before, is to give back and try to help young people out, to give them direction. And, you know what, it's not only that, it's something I really love. I know if I can be passionate about my work that I'm doing and being able to help people, it couldn't be better than that.

Q: Why do you coach the way that you do?
Heide: I want to be a positive role model for young people. I want to show them that people can love life, they can love what they do, and people can have dreams and go after them. I want to show them that there are times that get you down a little bit. There are road blocks along the way, but if you love what you're doing, go out and go for it. I might be repeating myself here, but I want to be a positive role model for people to know that there are people out there that they can trust. They just have to find them, and they can get guidance from. Help them along through life.

Q: Going into your kids' perspectives, what would you say it's like to be coached by you?
Heide: First of all, I'm enthusiastic and passionate. I give a lot. I'm dedicated to it, and probably most of all, I care for them. I want to see them do well as individuals. I want them to know that, in the end, I'll always love them and I'll always be there for them as somebody that they can always trust in knowing that there's somebody there that cares for them.

Q: What are some of your favorite memories coaching?
Heide: I have a lot of favorite memories. If I stick just to football, there's not only the jobs that I've gotten — whether they be assistant coaches. I remember getting my first varsity coaching job up in Breckenridge, Minnesota. What a wonderful staff. That's a great memory. The time that I had with those people when I was younger, and all the knowledge that I learned from coaches along the way, whether they be assistant coaches or head coaches that I worked with or was under. Working under Chris Brown up in West Grand for three years and being able to coach against him and getting guidance from him. Realizing how you respect other people and everything throughout the game. Obviously, here. Great success here at Bayfield. I think the biggest memory that will always be with me is how the community supports its football program, supports its school, supports its players. Some of the games that we've had were great games. I can remember a great game here, a home game, against Faith Christian my first year here. It was such a rewarding experience for me and the coaches and players and community that was here. Our state championship game. Going up to Platte Valley on a cold, windy day, knowing that we're going to really find out what kind of team we are today. Just to come away with that victory is a memory that I'll never forget. But every season, there are certain individuals that I never forget. Certain games in each season that I never forget. Certain adults and coaches that I never forget. Those will always be my favorite memories.

Q: With last week's win against Pagosa Springs, what does this season mean so far?
Heide: Going into this season, it's a special season. All of them are, but I knew we had a lot of seniors. A lot of quality seniors. A lot of seniors that could really play high school football and be great high school football players. I knew we had a chance to do well. We've been doing well so far. We've got big dreams. I told them all along that it's okay to dream big. We do dream big. But, if you give it all you've got, there's never a fail. Every game is big for us, and being that we wanna continue on, we've got to really take it one game at a time. We have to take each game for what it is each week and go out there and do our best. Play with the word that I call my team when I see them playing — it's just not me, it's something instilled in the Bayfield Wolverines. That's just play with ferocity. In order to do that game in and game out, you've got to love the game and play one game at a time and see where you end up.

Q: You alluded to the 2015 team that you had. What kind of similarities are you seeing between this year and the 2015 year when you guys went undefeated and won the state title?br/> Heide: The biggest similarity that I see is great leadership from seniors. Just superb. Not only helping other kids and encouraging people, but expectations and the drive and belief in themselves. And then to be able to go out there and display those qualities on the field and really perform. To step back, I think if you're going to nail one thing down, it's that confidence and belief day in and day out.

Story credit: Cannon Casey/
Photo credit: Bayfield High School

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