Nathan Johnson hired to take over Pomona football program

ARVADA — Nathan Johnson has been tabbed as the next football coach at Pomona High School in Arvada.

“It’s a storied program, very prideful school, community and culture up there. Especially with football,” Johnson said of Pomona. “I’ve been working toward that next step of becoming a head coach and wanted to throw my name in the hat. I was lucky enough to get an interview and now we are here.”

Nathan Johnson has been hired to take over Pomona's football program. Johnson is an Arapahoe High School graduate and spent the past three years as the assistant head varsity football coach at Englewood High School. (photo provided)

Johnson is an Arapahoe High School graduate and played college football at Adams State University before starting his coaching career. He spent four years as the JV head coach and varsity linebackers coach at Arapahoe, along with being an assistant wrestling coach at the school.

The last three years Johnson has been the assistant head varsity football coach at Englewood High School. The 29-year-old is making the jump to a program that former coach Jay Madden turned into a Class 5A powerhouse during his nearly two-decade run.

“I think the first thing is you have to build the trust in the players,” Johnson said of taking over for Madden. “Obviously I would never want to compare myself to Jay. What he built there was quite impressive.”

The Panthers advanced to the state semifinals six times and played in the 5A state title game four times during Madden’s tenure. Pomona won the 5A state championship in 2017.

“I need to make sure the players buy into what we are going to do as a coaching staff,” Johnson said. “But, the expectations are still going to be the same. We are going to be hardworking. We are going to be grinders. We are going to be tough.”

Pomona went 7-1 this past season and won the 5A Jeffco League title. The Panthers lost to eventual state champion Cherry Creek in the state semifinals.

“Looking at the schedule, it’s going to be a great challenge,” said Johnson, who was at Jeffco’s football stadium scheduling meeting on Friday, Feb. 26. “I’m excited for that challenge and I know our players are not afraid to play anyone. As a coaching staff we are going to prepare and plan to win every week.”

Pomona will return four first-team all-conference selections — Aaron Karas, Dom Nichols, Deion Maes and Chase Muller — to have give Johnson a solid foundation to build from looking ahead to the 2021 Fall football season.