The only thing Jeff Krumlauf cares about more than his football team is his family. That's why he agonized for a month before he made one of the toughest decisions of his life.
Last week, Krumlauf resigned as the football coach at Doherty. He's heading back to the mountains. His wife Stephanie was given an opportunity to help run a family restaurant in Vail, an opportunity that she couldn't resist.
Krumlauf wasn't going to stand in the way. He's going with her and letting go of a head coaching job that he has come to love since he took the program over in 2014. He's known for years that there was a limited number of circumstances that would force him to willingly relinquish the position.
"Probably just the one thing that did; my family and doing what's best for my wife and son, for my in-laws and my dad that are up in the valley," Krumlauf said. "It's exciting and it's bittersweet, but it's time to open that next chapter."
Krumlauf's decision represents the other side of a dynamic that is often seen with sports families. Rather than asking his wife to sacrifice for him, he's willing to make a big sacrifice to allow her to pursue her dream.
It's what he often preaches to his players at Doherty. Things in life will come and go, but a family is something worth sacrificing for. Krumlauf felt that if he was going to preach it to the players, he had to practice that mentality as well, even if it meant leaving something he loved behind.
"Honestly, it's unbelievable to me," Krumlauf said. "She took an absolute risk in more ways than one in moving down here with me before we were married. I don't see it as a sacrifice. I see it as an amazing opportunity for her and her family. It's all about supporting on both sides. As long as I'm around her, my son and maybe some future (kids), as long as I'm around them and coaching somewhere, I can live anywhere."
He doesn't think his football days are over. Far from it. Krumlauf has coaching experience at Battle Mountain High School and hopes that he can rejoin the program in some capacity.
In his five years at Doherty, Krumlauf finished with a 33-17 record. He made three appearances in the Class 5A playoffs and won a league championship in 2014. If asked two years ago, he believed that he was going to spend his life with the Spartans. He created a culture that the kids loved to be a part of. That included kicking off the football seasons with midnight practices on the first day of the fall season.
Looking back at his time there, there are so many things about the football program and the school that he's going to miss.
"All of it," he said. "The ups and downs, the kids first and foremost. They are an amazing group of young men. The coaching staff, my colleagues, the administration. It's endless. It's that secondary family and really not even secondary. It's 1.1. It was one of the tougher decisions I've ever made but we know it's the right one terms of what's important and what we preach and that's family."
Krumlauf will remain at Doherty through the remainder of the year. He serves as an assistant track coach and will head into the spring season with high expectations for his athletes.
Then he'll pack up and head into the mountains. Football is far from out his life and he is anxious to continue playing a role in the develop of high school kids.
Krumlauf's departure has been updated to the list of coaching changes heading into the 2019 season.