After 34 years of prowling a football sideline, Frank Ybarra is opting for a seat in the stands.
The Horizon football coach got his team through a tricky Season A schedule but has decided that the 2020 season has been his last. After coaching and educating for more than three decades, he's heading into retirement.
He leaves behind a life dedicated to the service of young student-athletes both on the field and in the classroom.
"It was my life," Ybarra said. "I'll remember all the relationships built with my kids and fellow coaches. I've met some of my best friends of the world through coaching. Some of the kids I coached are now in their 40's and we still keep in contact and they're still a big part of my life."
His coaching career featured an even split as an assistant and as a head coach. The first 17 years of his coaching career were spent at Northglenn as an assistant. He then took the job to be the head coach at Horizon, where he remained for the final 17 years of his career.
"I never thought I'd leave Northglenn," Ybarra said. "I played there and that was my whole life growing up. I never thought I'd go anywhere else, but I've been here just as long."
Although the Hawks had struggled recently, they had put together a solid year back in 2015. They claimed the Class 5A Front Range League title and beat Doherty in the first round of the state tournament before falling to Pomona.
But Ybarra never measured success by wins and losses. He measured it on whether or not his players lived up to and exceeded their potential and how they applied the lessons learned on the field to their lives.
Coaching is admirable profession to get into, yet has its challenges. He wants to encourage the growth of the coaching ranks, but knows that support is needed not just in his building but throughout the community overall.
"New coaches want everybody to love them," Ybarra said. "It just doesn't work that way. You have to earn that trust and earn that love. You're going to take some bumps along the way, you just have to fight through it."