Wayne McGinn took over for a legend as the football coach at Loveland.
The team was a perennial power under John Poovey for 35 seasons until he retired in 2012, winning four state championships. It was something McGinn got to experience up close as a defensive assistant in the 1982, 1983 and 1984 seasons.
"When I was there as an assistant, I saw that," McGinn said of the history of excellence.
At that time, McGinn said, he could see himself wanting to eventually take over for someone like Poovey. But he got an offer to become a graduate assistant at Texas Christian University, and spent the next 23 years in college football — including an eight-year stint as the head coach at Adams State University.
In 2012, he returned to the high school arena as an assistant at Pueblo Central. A year later, he was back at Loveland.
In his first season, McGinn's team reached the Class 4A quarterfinals. Two years later, they reached the state championship game, and finished as runner-up.
Since the 2016 season, Loveland has gone 21-3. Last season, they advanced to the quarterfinals again, falling to emerging rival Broomfield in overtime.
It was something McGinn and his team remembered all offseason.
"We had that sour taste in our mouth the whole summer," McGinn said.
So last Thursday's matchup, pitting No. 2 Loveland against No. 3 Broomfield was a big one. And McGinn's team made a statement with a 47-0 win.
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Wayne McGinn bio
Years as head coach: 5 (41-18 overall)
Years at Loveland: 5 (41-18, 1-0 this season)
Previous stops: Loveland assistant (1982-84); Texas Christian University grad assistant (1985-86); Western State assistant (1987-99); Adams State head coach (2000-07); CSU-Pueblo offensive coordinator (2008); Pueblo Central assistant (2012); Loveland head coach (2013-present).
Question: Why did you want to become a coach?
McGinn: Oh man, I just loved sports. I just couldn't see myself not being a part of sports all my life. I just wanted to be part of sports, and help young players become better players. And I love the competition, being competitive.
Question: What was it like following a guy like Poovey at Loveland?
McGinn: I remember thinking at the time, "I'm crazy to follow him." But somebody had to do it.
It was scary. I'll be honest with you, it was scary. Because Coach Poovey was a great coach, and the program was just winning all the time. When I was there as an assistant, I saw that. Before I got the job at TCU, I could see myself: "Someday, I want to take over for John Poovey." In my own way, you know?
I learned a lot from him. It's hard to follow in the footsteps of a legend, because he was just so successful. But I was just myself. I was going to do it the way I wanted to do it, and maybe it's not exactly the same as John, but I learned a lot from him.
Question: This season, you guys started off the year beating Broomfield 47-0. Is that a perfect way to start off the year?
McGinn: Well, it's definitely a good way to start off the year. We had that sour taste in our mouth the whole summer. Our kids worked really hard this summer.
Our kids really performed well. They just came ready to play. They were focused. It's still — this morning, I was thinking, "Did we really do that?" Broomfield's a very good team, and they won their first game pretty handily. I was going into that game as, "Either way, we're going to get better." Our kids were focused, and they came out ready to play.