Football bonds Colorado FBS coaches to their sons, who play in high school

Tyler Calhoun (9) poses with his Palmer Ridge teammates at Denver Broncos fall sports media day. (Gabriel Christus/Denver Broncos)

Palmer Ridge quarterback/wide receiver Tyler Calhoun enjoys movie night with his dad. It's just not a typical movie night as most people know it.

There is no tub of popcorn to snack from or members of the Avengers saving the world in spectacular fashion on the big screen.

Instead there is paper so notes can be taken and a remote control so that the action on the screen can be paused.

One of the favorite pastimes for the Bears senior is sitting down with his father, Troy, and watching football game film. It's father-son bonding happening around a central component of each other's life.

Football is certainly life for Troy Calhoun, the head coach at the Air Force Academy. The same can be said for University of Colorado head coach Mel Tucker and Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo.

All three have gotten to this point of their careers by their love of the game. And all three have sons playing on Colorado high school teams. Each coach bonds with their kid over the game in different ways, but it boils to down to love of the game. And of course, love for each other.

Standing on the sideline after Palmer Ridge's 24-19 win over Pueblo South on Sept. 27, Tyler Calhoun couldn't keep a smile off his face when describing how he and Troy bond over the game. The Air Force Academy played at home the same night, beating San Jose State, so Troy couldn't be at the CSU-Pueblo Thunderbowl.

But when each Calhoun got home, stories would be shared and analysis would be had.

"We'll watch each other's film together so I'm pretty pumped," Tyler said. "It happens every week. I watch film with him and he watches film with me."

As a high school player, it has to be exciting having a Division I coach constantly putting eyes on his game film. It adds a little bit of a special feel when that coach is also involved in your daily life.

How'd school go today? Where should we go on vacation? Who are you taking to prom?

Those questions probably get spread out over the course of a calendar year. For the fall, the focus is set on what happens on whichever high school football field these boys are playing on.

(Photo courtesy of Drew Bobo)

The film experience isn't unique to the Calhouns. After each game that Drew Bobo plays at Resurrection Christian, he and CSU coach Mike Bobo always rehash what happened and they'll watch the game unfold together.

"We watch some of my games together as much as we can and then he tells me what I did well and what I need to work on," Drew said. "And then we watch other games too and he tells me who to watch and what to do."

When asked how much do they deal with dad and how much they deal with a college football coach, the answer is the same from all three. They always deal with dad. It just happens to be a dad who loves every bit of the game they're playing.

And when it comes to these players going out for football, they're never given any special treatment because of who they are and what their parents do for a living. Monarch's Christian Tucker learned that right away.

The son of Mel Tucker came into a program that saw the sons of former CU coach Mike MacIntyre also suit up and play. From the second he stepped on the field this year, he never felt like anything was handed to him and he was instantly a part of the team.

"The boys here are really loving and caring and they brought me in early and he never made me feel left out or isolated cause I was Coach Tucker's son," Christian said. "They just treat me like anyone else."

Being the son of a high-level coach can almost come with instant pressure to get involved in the game. But that may not always be the case. Like most kids, they feel like their parents are supportive of those decisions.

Even if the decision isn't necessarily the one that the parent wanted them to make.

"He never wanted me to play football," Christian said. "He thought it was too dangerous but I convinced him to let me. Once he did he was hands off and let me go at it."

And his experience mirrors that of Calhoun and Bobo to this point. They may not get to see all of each other's games, but they'll talk about the outcomes and how they can improve as players.

But they all do it while speaking to their fathers instead of a college football.

All three father-son relationships when it comes to the game appear to be every bit as normal as any player on any roster in the state.

"I feel like I'm talking to my dad most for the time because he's telling me more what to do," Drew said. "We have our same relationship with talking to him about other type of stuff."

Three fathers. Three sons. One game.

With Calhoun a senior in the Class 3A and Tucker and Bobo both sophomores at schools in different classes, it is unlikely they will cross paths during high school competition.

But for one kid in Fort Collins, one in the Boulder area and one in Colorado Springs, there is a unique circumstance that ties them together.

Others will undoubtedly see it before they do. They see themselves as just kids. Kids who get to sit down with dad each weekend and film of the game that has created a concrete bond between father and son.

Christian Tucker

Christian Tucker. (Dan Mohrmann/