Jared Yannacito always wanted to be involved with sports, it just didn't hit him how until he was a senior in college. He decided he wanted to trade in his broadcasting headset for one that would let him be involved in the outcome as opposed to reporting it. Yannacito wanted to coach. He again leaned on school to get his teaching license. He got his coaching education from one of the greats. He spent seven years on staff at Pomona, including his last three as the offensive coordinator. Jay Madden was Yannacito's mentor and is someone he still talks with on a regular basis. But Yannacito is now on his own. He took the job at Golden and became tasked with reviving a program that hadn't seen a winning season since 2009. He was up to the challenge and now the Demons are in the playoffs. Yannacito 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 Initiative, which seeks to transform the current win-at-all-costs sports culture. Find a complete list of winners on this page.
Years as head coach: 1 (7-3 overall)
Years at Windsor: 1 (7-2)
Previous stops: Boulder High School assistant coach (2009), Pomona assistant coach (2010-2016), Golden head coach (2017-present)
Q: Why did you get into coaching?
Yannacito: Originally, I was going to school to be a sports broadcaster. My senior year of college, I felt like something was missing. It was coaching. As a sports broadcaster I was watching these games and getting pretty critical and realized instead of being the person who talked about these games, I wanted to be involved in it and have an impact. So I went back and got my teaching license and started working with kids and I loved it. The main reason I coach is to be a positive mentor and influence on young student-athletes. When I first got into coaching I thought I wanted to get into the college level. But I think at the high school age, you can have a tremendous impact that will last forever on these kids.
Q: Why do you coach the way that you coach?
Yannacito: That's a tough question. I coach with a lot of energy and passion. Even with my team at Golden, we had to get them to believe in themselves. I coach to make the kids confident and make them believe in themselves.
Q: What do you think it's like to be coached by you?
Yannacito: I would say it's exciting. I try to bring positive energy every day to practice. I challenge the kids. I make them compete. I make them work harder and they know that I have their back at all times.
I think that's why my coaches and I were able to get the most out of the kids. They know we're pushing them because we care about them.
Q: What are your favorite coaching memories?
Yannacito: This year is extremely memorable. We took over a team that was 1-9 and got outscored 327-74 the previous year. To come in and make the kids believe in themselves and believe in the process and have that family bonding atmosphere has been an extremely fun year. I was also the offense coordinator and an assistant coach at Pomona for seven years. There are some memories I'll never forget. Going to back-to-back state title games. Coach Madden, who I have a ton of respect for. He's been my mentor. Working with him are some of my best memories as well.
Q: There was almost an elevated sense of excitement around you guys coming into the year. What has this journey been like?
Yannacito: Incredible. It's also been extremely challenging at times, but I cannot ask for more from the kids and the community. This is not a one-man show turnaround. I told the kids, it takes an army. It takes commitment from the administration, the school, the kids, my coaches for this thing to happen. From day one they bought in. The biggest thing we preach is family. But fix our family. We very rarely talk about any other team that we're playing. How can we fix us? How can we get better? That's been our approach all year. Our motto has been "Close the gap." That gap was 327-74 and 1-9. We just focused on that. If we create a team, we create a family and we can do that.
Q: A lot of coaches talk about building cultures and I know that's something you wanted to do coming in. Given everything that's been accomplished this season, is it possible to build the majority of a culture in a single season?
Yannacito: Absolutely. I think we set the foundation for the expectations for the future. We did set that precedent that if you commit to this and you work hard and you're coachable. Things like this can happen.
Story credit: Dan Mohrmann / CHSAANow.com
Photo credit: Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics