BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
When The Villager sat down with storied Cherry Creek High School football coach Dave Logan to talk about what it meant to win his eighth 5A state championship at four different high schools, two things were very clear. Logan loves football and he has an abiding commitment to teaching teenagers how to be successful adults using the tools needed to win this game. He sees football as “the greatest team sport in the world because of its valuable life lessons. It teaches you to literally get up after you get knocked down and that sometimes even when you do your best, you don’t always win.”
“Kids all not a lot different than they were in 1993 (when Logan began coaching high school football). They want structure, discipline, and hard work because it leads to success. There are more distractions. Social media presents opportunities for things to go haywire.”
On the safety of playing the game, Logan told us that he understands parents’ concerns. Football is still “a collision sport,” he said, “but the game has changed dramatically in recent years. Everyone involved is much more cognizant of putting safety at the forefront.” At today’s high school games there is a doctor on the sideline. If a player is hit in a way that could possibly cause a concussion he is immediately examined by a trainer and the doctor, who make the decision as to whether or when he can continue to play. Coaches have no say. Logan added that “the art of tackling has changed. Every member of the coaching staff takes classes every year that emphasize safety.”
When Logan was a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, he told us, he got knocked unconscious after catching a ball. When he woke up the coach asked him if he was OK. He just wanted to know if he had caught the ball and held onto it. When they told him he did, he said that he was OK. By answering yes to that question, he was allowed to go back in after missing only one play. “I didn’t want my back-up to get my job.” Logan explained. He went on, “That could never happen in today’s game.”
We asked Logan what he says to the many people who notice he has skills that would allow him to coach at a much higher level than high school. He said, “I’ve had opportunities to coach in college and in the NFL, but I’m right where I want to be.”
What was special about this year’s Cherry Creek Bruins, we asked, that led to an undefeated season and a state championship? Logan explained that he and his coaching staff, some of whom have been with him for more than two decades, started the process of building a team in January, like they always do. They welcomed the players by going straight to the goal, talking about what it would take “to get to the big house” (Empower Field at Mile High where the state championship is played). Strength and conditioning training in the winter and spring were followed by dozens of practices on the field in the summer. Logan said that the team actually hit less in practice this year than in previous ones to minimize preseason injuries.
What did Andrew Regan, a Cherry Creek Bruin with a disability, bring to this championship team, we wanted to know. “A love of life, a sense of humor, and a unique perspective,” the coach said. “The other kids loved him. He’s a jokester who always put things in perspective because he was unaffected by the circumstances, no matter what they were.”
We turned to The Denver Broncos, for whom Logan has been the radio announcer for the past 30 years, in addition to being a daily on-air sports personality on KOA 850 and 94.1 FM, where his contract was renewed for another 10 years in August. About their rookie quarterback, who just turned 23 years old, Logan said, “I like what I see from Drew (Lock). He has qualities. He can move around and throw accurately on the run.”
We wanted to know if coaching high school ever conflicted with his job with the Broncos. Logan said it usually works out, but that if he misses the Broncos charter flight to wherever they’re going, it’s his responsibility to get there by game time. He recalled a time in early December 2001 when he was coaching Chatfield in the state championship game (which they won). He missed the Broncos’ charter to Miami, where they were playing the next day. There were no commercial flights he could take after the high school state championship game ended that would get him to Miami on time, so he had to spend $6,000 to use a private plane to get there by kickoff time, but, he said, he’s “never missed a high school game,” even when, years later, his mother, who is over 90 now, had a heart attack just as another team he was coaching was about to play in a state championship. He was up all night at the hospital with her making sure she was all right, but still made it to the state championship game in time for the kickoff.
High school football coaches earn about $4,500 for a whole season. It has been well reported that Logan gives that entire amount to his assistant coaches.
After graduating from Wheat Ridge High School as a three-sport athlete and winner of the 1971 Denver Post Gold Helmet Award for excellence in academics, sports, and character, Logan attended the University of Colorado, where he played basketball and football. Drafted by professional teams in baseball, basketball, and football, Logan accepted an offer from the Cleveland Browns, where he played for seven years until moving to the Denver Broncos. There he finished his record-setting career as a wide receiver in 1984. Logan and his wife Tonya live in Greenwood Village. His daughter Cassidy is part of his contractor referral company, TeamDaveLogan.com.
One of the most important life lessons that Logan hopes kids learn when they are looking up at those at the top of any sport or profession is, “Nobody gets there without spending time in the box.”
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |