Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey is introduced as the new head coach at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch on Tuesday night. (Photo: Mike Rice/KOA NewsRadio)
HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO -- Now, you can call him Coach McCaffrey.
Tuesday night, former Denver Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey was introduced as the new head coach of the Valor Christian High School Eagles.
"I love coaching," McCaffrey told Mike Rice of KOA NewsRadio and Orange and Blue 760. "I love the commraderie with the coaching staff, I love teaching the kids. I love pushing them to be good but showing them some love, the smiles when they do something right, the feeling of fulfillment when they push themselves farther than they thought they could push themselves. For all the reasons we all love football, I love coaching."
McCaffrey, a three-time Super Bowl champion during his 13-year NFL career with the Giants, 49ers and Broncos, has coached at the youth level but this will be his first head coaching job at the high school level or higher.
Valor linebacker Ethan Zemla, who played for McCaffrey as an eighth grader, knows Coach McCaffrey will fit in just fine.
"I had a great experience with him. He's a great coach. He really focused on mentoring his players, focused on development and improving his guys," Zemla said.
McCaffrey has a decade-long history with Valor, going back to when the school opened. Each of McCaffrey's four sons -- Max, Christian, Dylan and Luke -- have attended Valor and played for the Eagles. Luke will be a senior next fall.
"Valor wasn't even accredited ten years ago. They were 3A in football and had a losing record when we first dropped our son Max off at the school. We didn't send them here for football. We sent them here because we fell in love with the faculty members and the coaches and the people we hoped would serve as mentors for our kids away from our home," McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey said he previously resisted coaching in any capacity with the Valor football program.
"I didn't want to be a distraction. As hard as it was to not coach with these coaches over the last ten years, I did it because I thought it was what was in the best interest of my sons and the program."
"But deep down inside, it's been a passion of mine and I've wanted so badly to join the staff and coach high school football."
He never, however, expected to be one day be the head coach of the school that has meant so much to him and his family.
"I've been offered several head coaching jobs at other schools across the state over the years. I was very grateful they presented those offers to me. But it just never felt like the right place for me because this is where my heart is, at Valor Christian High School, McCaffrey admitted.
"I never thought this opportunity would present itself but once it did, I felt like this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve and give back in the best way I know how."
McCaffrey takes over a program that won five straight state championships from 2009-13 and won it all again in 2015 and 2016.
"There are high expectations here. But I don't coach for wins and losses. I didn't play for wins and losses. I didn't look for a microphone; I didn't look for a camera. Honestly, for me it was a way to show thanks to the Lord through my efforts. That's really what it meant for me," McCaffrey shared.
"Hopefully if I can get, along with my coaches, some of these kids to really tap into tap into their spirituality, playing for something bigger than themselves and being part of a team [then] they're going to create those friendships on their team that'll last a lifetime. And they'll be able to go out and transform the world for Christ in their own way, whether it's through business or coaching or sports or philanthropy. If there's any way I can contribute to their experience and their path, it's a blessing for me to be able to do so."
With the previous success of Valor football, McCaffrey certainly has big shoes to fill. Athletic director Jamie Heiner believes McCaffrey will be a great fit.
"We're very thankful for the tradition and the foundation that has been laid by Coach [Brent] Vieselmeyer and Coach [Rod] Sherman. Those guys have been tremendous," Heiner said. "Now to be able to introduce a guy like Coach McCaffrey, I feel very confident" the program is in good hands.
Heiner notes the excitement does not simply stem from McCaffrey's impressive accomplishements on the football field.
"He's a guy that has enjoyed that level of success but also loves pouring into and mentoring young men and is so passionate about the game of football. It's very exciting for our school to have a leader like that," Heiner added.
Below are the full interviews with Coach McCaffrey, Valor athletic director Jamie Heiner, Valor linebacker Ethan Zemla and Valor running back Joshia Davis.
Pictures from Coach McCaffrey's introduction on Tuesday, February 6 and the school's press release follow.
Coach McCaffrey with Mike Rice.
Valor athletic director Jamie Heiner with Mike.
Valor linebacker Ethan Zemla with Mike.
Valor running back Joshia Davis with Mike.
All photos: Mike Rice/KOA NewsRadio and Orange and Blue 760
New Valor Christian High School head football coach Ed McCaffrey.
Coach McCaffrey addresses Valor players, parents and faculty during his introduction as the school's new head football coach.
New Valor football coach Ed McCaffrey speaks to players, parents and staff during his introduction on February 6, 2018.
(l to r) Max McCaffrey (wide receiver, San Franciso 49ers), Ed's wife Lisa, Christian McCaffrey (running back, Carolina Panthers), Luke McCaffrey (junior at Valor Christian), Ed McCaffrey.
VALOR CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL ANNOUNCES ED MCCAFFREY AS HEAD FOOTBALL COACH
HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO — February 5, 2018 — Valor Christian High School Athletic Director Jamie Heiner announced today that the school has appointed Ed McCaffrey as the Eagles’ next head football coach.
“Ed has been a part of the Valor community for 9 years, and now we’re honored to call him Coach McCaffrey,” said Heiner. “In addition to the incredible experience he brings in developing athletes and their competitive skills, he has a heart for mentoring young men, desiring to help them build character and leadership that will last well beyond their high school years.”
McCaffrey’s four sons have all attended Valor Christian and have played for the Eagles.
“I am committed to the Valor community and genuinely care about our student-athletes as I have prayed and cheered for them at every football game since 2009,” said McCaffrey.
The Eagles achieved consecutive state championships over five straight years from 2009 through 2013, and again in 2015 and 2016.
Now the team anticipates a new season with Coach McCaffrey, whose professional record includes three Super Bowl wins from 1991 to 2004 as an NFL player with the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos.
During and since his NFL days, McCaffrey’s athletic leadership has benefited thousands of players through youth sports camps and clinics and through his coaching of youth football teams. In 2010, he co-founded the Dare to Play Football and Cheer Camp for children and young adults with Down Syndrome. He is also an analyst and media commentator for the Denver Broncos and the NFL.
“Today I no longer play the game, but I continue to live a life filled with faith, family and football,” said McCaffrey. “I believe coaching football is the best way for me to serve God. Playing football at Valor is not a four-year decision but a lifetime decision that will form our young men as athletes and as leaders.”