Manitou Springs football again looking for new coach after Gieck resigns

MANITOU SPRINGS -- Manitou Springs High School will be looking for its fourth head football coach since the retirement of George Rykovich at the conclusion of the 2006 season.

Dan Gieck, who led the Mustangs to the 2A state semifinals, resigned as coach in mid-January, igniting a search that the district hopes to have completed at the conclusion of their spring break period.

Gieck cited a struggle to balance the job alongside his work maintaining district-wide facilities and his desire to spend time with his family as the reason for his departure.

The Mustangs have had trouble finding consistency with the head coaching position since Rykovich retired. John McGee took over the team for three seasons before transitioning into the athletic director job. He was succeeded by arguably the greatest football player in school history in Justin Armour. Armour coached the Mustangs for two seasons (2010-11) before resigning to open his own restaurant in Manitou.

After Armour resigned, Gieck emerged as a popular candidate amongst the students and the football staff.

His resignation came as a shock to those same staff members who felt that Gieck was going to provide the team with longevity in the position. Rykovich coached the Mustangs for 36 years before his retirement, making a carousel of coaches unfamiliar territory for the school.

Armour -- who was employed by Manitou when he was the head coach -- did say via text message on Wednesday that he will not return to the job.