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RANGELY I With winter sports well underway, who knows more about the operations and work involved than long-time teacher, coach and athletic director Kurt Douglas. He taught for 32 years, coached for 27 and served as the athletic director for approximately eight years.
Douglas began his career in Crowley County in 1975 where he was an assistant baseball coach for six years, an assistant boys’ basketball coach for two years and then the head coach. He then went to Rocky Ford High School where he was the head baseball coach for 13 years, earning two trips to the state finals. He was the assistant girls’ basketball and football coach for a combined 12 years as well. While in Rocky Ford he served two years as president of the Arkansas Valley League and served on the baseball committee for Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) for two terms.
Douglas began his stint in Rangely in 1994 as the business teacher, FBLA advisor, and girls’ basketball coach. He coached the girls for nine years and the baseball team for five. He was a member of the executive committee for CHSAA and served as the West Slope League president for two years.
He was Rangely’s athletic director for five years and did an outstanding job making the student athletes his top priority. In his career Douglas has led three teams to state and participated in four all-state games—two in baseball and two in basketball.
When asked about coaching in Rangely he said, “It was great, Rangely had great support.” Of his trips to the state tournament, Douglas said, “We were the team farthest from the site and there were more people in green in the stands then any of their opponents.”
His dedication to the kids in Rangely was and is evidenced by his continual involvement with the programs. Current girls’ basketball coach Jimmie Mergelman said, “He is a great mentor. He still comes in to work with the girls and comes to all the games. The kids love him. In fact, he covered practice for me the week some took off between state volleyball and the start of basketball.”
In his career as a teacher and coach he was proud to coach his three daughters: Heather, Tiffany and Courtney. Heather now lives in Latin, Utah, and has three boys. Tiffany resides in Logan, Utah, and Courtney lives in Rangely with her husband, Quinton Kent. Kent is the assistant girls’ basketball and middle school coach. The couple has two children.
Douglas currently substitute teaches and was happy to cover daughter Courtney’s fourth-grade position while Courtney was on maternity leave. Teachers in Rangely frequently request Douglas as a sub for his reliability and excellence.
When asked about the opportunity to coach and teach he said, “You learn a lot more about them and they about you when you interact outside the classroom, the kids get the opportunity to see you are human.”
Endless interaction through coaching, officiating and simply being involved is perhaps the key to his longevity in his field. There is seldom an athletic event in Rangely where he is not volunteering in some capacity to ensure the best environment for the student/athletes.
If not at an athletic event, substitute teaching, or working construction, Douglas enjoys fishing. He enjoys fishing with former Meeker business teacher Steve Harman and others at Lake Powell, Flaming Gorge and any other hot spots. He also has the big job of being a grandparent to his five grandchildren.
Kurt Douglas is an outstanding example of integrity and commitment and his service to education is equaled by few. In a profession that is not always conducive to longevity, he proved hard work and sincere involvement for the kids is a recipe for success. He managed to be an inspiring teacher and coach, as well as an outstanding representative for CHSAA and the leagues he participated in, as well as raising an outstanding family.
His career has certainly been appreciated by Rangely and his former schools and is highly respected by fellow teachers and coaches. His teams were always competitive and well-prepared, which brought tremendous admiration from opposing coaches. Kurt is truly among an elite group for his years in service, his success and his overwhelming dedication to kids.