GRANBY —Coach Adam Bright is looking to bring Middle Park High “some of that crazy Texas Friday Night Lights football tradition, without it getting too crazy.”
The Austin, Texas native has a rich background in athletics, working in professional baseball at the collegiate level. Although Bright always wanted to coach, he didn’t get into it right away, choosing instead to pursue the corporate life.
“I ignored that passion for a while, because I wanted to chase the dollar bill and make money,” he said. “But I realized athletics is where I wanted to be, and it wasn’t filling that hole.”
Bright decided to make a career change. He started at Southeast Oklahoma State as an assistant football coach. Soon after, he switched to coaching at the high school level.
“I’m one of those guys who believes it’s a calling to be a teacher and a coach,” Bright said. “I wanted to coach high school kids because you can still make an impression on them.”
Bright worked as an assistant coach and head coach at two Texas high schools, but kept his eye open for a head coaching position in Colorado. He grew up spending a month each summer in Colorado. After he married his wife, Jessica, they frequently visited the state to ski and vacation.
“Whenever we had the means to get up here, we were up here,” he said. “This is where we wanted to be.”
In addition to coaching, Bright will teach P.E., psychology and sports health. Since he started at Middle Park High in July, Bright said he’s spent about 18 hours a day at the school, getting to know administrators and teachers.
“I know more about this high school than I do my own house,” he said. “I don’t want to just be a good coach, but a good teacher, too.”
At Middle Park High, Bright said he’s looking forward to developing a new program, forming new traditions and bringing more spirit to the team.
“We’ve got a great group of kids who have experienced success before,” he said. “We’re bringing a modern twist to the football program to kids who are hungry to learn something new.”
With the help of Jessica who also teaches at Middle Park High, he plans to increase team recruits from 36 to 50 athletes by next year.
But according to Bright, the greatest challenge ahead is changing mind-sets.
“To succeed, it takes more than showing up in August,” he said. “We need 100 percent buy-in, and 100 percent attendance all year.”
Getting that buy-in takes leaders kids want to follow, he said. Beyond coaching, Bright said he hopes to build trust with students, share his passion for the game, and teach lessons that will help students succeed in life.
“It’s a coach’s job to teach those lessons, so the next generation to lead Grand County has values, and knows how to do what’s right,” he said.
Bright is also working to get students and the community excited by revamping Middle Park football. He has modernized the team’s logo. He is developing their offensive. He is working to create a fun, exciting game for spectators.
The community will have its first opportunity to see the team under Bright’s leadership during the school’s first home game on 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29.
“We want to put on a good show so people want to come watch,” Bright said. “We want people to buy in, to understand this is their team, this is Grand County’s team.”
Leia Larsen can be reached at (970) 887-3334 ext. 19603.