Highlands Ranch girls basketball coach Caryn Jarocki won the 600th game of her illustrious career on Thursday night.
Jarocki's Falcons beat Arapahoe 62-27. She is now 600-163 in her career, including 449-90 at Highlands Ranch, and has the most wins in girls basketball history in Colorado.
"I always wanted to coach," Jarocki said. "When I was in high school, I was like, 'This is what I'm going to do. I'm going to coach basketball.' I've always loved it.
"I love being with the kids, and I love helping them achieve their goals, and learn something new, and do something for the first time."
Jarocki, a gold standard when it comes to coaching in Colorado, won her 500th game during the 2012-13 season. She is now in her 33rd year of coaching. She spent 11 seasons at Colorado Academy, and is in her 22nd at Highlands Ranch.
Her win total becomes even more impressive when considering that Colorado only plays 23 regular season games. Many surrounding states play more than 30.
"I really feel like preparation and paying attention to the details — every little detail — matters," Jarocki said. "And if the kids know that it matters, and pay attention to those things, then they get better."
A low-key coach who isn't focused on her own achievements, she said that the game didn't warrant any special attention leading up to it.
"Honestly, every year I just focus on the kids that I have at the moment and what we're trying to do this year," Jarocki said.
Jarocki is the all-time leader in wins for any girls sport. She is one of only six coaches on either the boys or the girls side to have won 600 games in the history of the state. The next closest girls basketball coach to her is former ThunderRidge and Monarch coach Bill Bradley, who has won 465 games.
She has won seven state championships, the most of any girls basketball coach. All seven have come at Highlands Ranch, which is also a state record.
Asked to reflect on how coaching has changed over the course of her career, Jarocki said: "The kids are a little bit different in some ways because they have more distractions, like cell phones for one."
But she said one thing has remained the same.
"I do think, in one regard, kids have always stayed the same, in that they like discipline, they like routine, they like to know where the boundaries are," Jarocki said. "Even though they sometimes go outside the lines and have to be nudged back inside the lines, they like that.
"I really do think they like to know where the boundaries are. And they like to know when someone cares enough to say something if they're outside the boundaries."
As for the future? Jarocki is focused on No. 601 — and beyond.
"I'm just looking forward to going after 700," she said.