Denver Broncos high school football coach of the week: Chatfield's Bret McGatlin

Chatfield football Bret McGatlin

(Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Bret McGatlin has Chatfield on a roll.

At 8-1 overall, the Chargers have a very difficult team to play on both sides of the ball. They average over 45 points a game on offense while surrendering less than 14 points a game defensively. They have wins over Pine Creek, Wheat Ridge and Dakota Ridge.

Their only loss of the season?

A 28-7 defeat at the hands of the Class 5A CHSAANow.com No. 6-ranked Columbine Rebels.

That's not a bad résumé with the postseason inching closer.

And that's a big reason that McGatlin was an easy choice as the Denver Broncos high school football coach of the week.

Chatfield football Bret McGatlin

(Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Question: Why do you coach?

McGatlin: There are several reasons, I think. It's just something for me, I was raised by a dad who was a coach. So I saw the effect he had on me and the kids that he coached and I think that's the main reason.

The amount of things you can teach young men. We want these kids here to become great fathers and great husbands someday. So that's really the ultimate reason why I coach.

Q: Why do you coach the way you do?

McGatlin: I've been coached by some great coaches. I think that's why I coach the way that I do, I believe that building relationships with kids is the No. 1 priority as a coach. I learned that from my dad and a lot from Coach (Andy) Lowry when I coached at Columbine.

Q: When you step out of that locker room, what you think those player think about how it feels to be coached by you?

McGatlin: I would hope that they think that they always know that I care for and love them like they're my own son. No matter how good of a player they are, that's my hope is that every player that comes through our program knows that.

Q: How do you define success through your coaching?

McGatlin: It sounds kind of weird, but I define success by the players that come back and visit me. Those are the kids who will tell me how they're doing and it's always great to hear those stories and hear about the success they're having post-high school.

Not very many of these kids go on to play college football, but to hear about them being successful as adults is where I gauge success in our program.

Q: This season has been very successful for you guys. As it's gone on and you continue to win games, what's the attitude of the team been like and what are you getting out of it?

McGatlin: A lot of joy. Winning is something that you love. Everybody loves winning. I've definitely been on the other side of it before.

I think right now when you win and compete and see the smiles on the kids' faces, I think that's what I've enjoyed the most. Just seeing the kids enjoy playing the sport of football. That's ultimately what I've seen from this year and I know that the kids have grown closer together and their relationship together has been a lot of fun to watch.

Q: You mentioned your time at Columbine, what was it like for you guys to go there this year and hang with one of the top 5A teams in the state?

McGatlin: We always have ultimate respect for them. Coach Lowry runs a great program and for us to be able to see that, being in 4A and seeing one of the top 5A schools, and compete with them I know that we always want to win that football game because it's a big rivalry game.

I think from that game is where our kids really started to grow up quite a bit. Before that, we were kind of untouchable and undefeated and had beaten some big teams in Pine Creek and Wheat Ridge. From that we learned a lot in that we have to take care of ourselves.

We also learned about how physical they are and how physical you need to be if you're going to play at the highest level.

Q: With the playoffs on the horizon, what are your hopes and expectations for how the boys finish out this season?

McGatlin: Just that they give it everything they've got. For some of these guys, it's their last games and winning a championship is not easy to do. At any sport on any level. So we just hope that every day they show up and give us the best effort they possibly can.

That's all I can ask is that they have a great attitude, so that's what we're looking for. I learned from Nick Saban a few years ago, just watching him talk about his process. That's what we try to do here, follow our process and take care of it one day at a time.

Hopefully those things come together for something great at the end of the season.