COLORADO SPRINGS — David Barkley, the legendary volleyball coach who led Cheyenne Mountain to six state championships, has resigned.
Barkley, who spent 15 seasons as the school's coach, is among the state leaders in career wins, winning percentage and state titles. He was 350-58 in his 15-year career.
"He's been stability that I've been fortunate with," Cheyenne Mountain athletic director Kris Robert said. "He's the second-longest tenured coach on our staff behind (tennis coach) David Adams. He is irreplaceable when it comes to the game of volleyball and the environment he's in over at Cheyenne Mountain High School."
Cheyenne Mountain went 10-17 in 2017, yet still advanced to the state tournament with a great run through the regional round.
Barkley's teams set a standard for the 4A classification. From 2008-12, they won won five-straight state championships, and also captured 4A in 2015. Included in that run were perfect 31-0 seasons in 2009 and 2011.
His team won 49 consecutive matches from 2010-12.
Initially, CHSAANow.com had his decision listed as a retirement, but Barkley backed away from that word, not liking that it sounded so final. He admitted he may never coach again, but he wanted to step away and evaluate everything before deciding on his next life journey.
"Once I retired from teaching, I knew it was inevitable that something would happen," Barkley said. "For the last two or three years, I gave it some time after the season to see where my heart was and if I wanted to go back.
I'd look at it and realize that I love the kids and I love to compete, so I'd go back."
He said the feeling just wasn't the same this year. It had nothing to do with the kids, because through the season he consistently said that this team had the potential to be his favorite. It was a young team, full of girls that he could really take the time to teach.
And at the end of the day, Barkley always thought of himself as a teacher, not a coach.
The Colorado Springs Gazette first reported Barkley's decision.
Barkley came to Cheyenne Mountain after receiving an offer to teach English in the district from then-principal Paul Martin.
He fell in love with the school and the area so he moved his family out from Ohio in 2001 to begin teaching.
His children went through high school at Cheyenne Mountain and he watched countless kids come through his program and develop as athletes and aspiring young-adults.
"It's been a beautiful thing, living here and working here," Barkley said. "I'm the one who is honored to have gone through this, it's not the other way around."
Roberts is hoping to get rolling on the hiring process in February.
"In a perfect world we'll have that position filled by the end of March," he said. "But we have to see what that interest level looks like."