Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Cory Ticnor named new Berthoud High School football coach

June 21, 2019 | Football
Courtesy photo – Emmy and Cory Ticnor with their children, Corson, and Tatem

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

As the saying goes, better late than never.

And for Cory Ticnor, named in mid-May as the new head coach of the Berthoud High School (BHS) football team, the timing could not have been better.

Ticnor, who most recently served as the defensive coordinator at 5A Fossil Ridge in Fort Collins, also lists on his resume head coaching experience – he served as head coach at Kinard Middle School – Division-One college coaching experience – he worked as offensive quality control coach on John McElwain’s staff at Colorado State University – and playing experience from his days both at Poudre High School and with the semi-professional Northern Colorado Wolfpack.

Even with such a broad swatch of experience at many different levels, Ticnor said serving as a high school head coach is a dream come true.

“To be honest with you, it’s always been a dream of mine to be a head coach in a one-school town. And being a Poudre graduate, I know the tradition at Berthoud High School. It goes back a long ways with Coach Diffendaffer and Coach McGinn, and I didn’t hesitate to take this opportunity,” Ticnor said. “Me and my family are super excited. When push came to shove, this wasn’t something I could turn down.”

Ticnor was hired later than is usual for a high school football coach, as the original coach chosen to replace long-tenured Troy Diffendaffer, who retired following the 2018 season, resigned less than a week after being formally introduced. Yet it is not as though Ticnor was a second choice or a fallback option; the stars just happened to align in the right way.

While there has been a measure of tumult around BHS of late, the football team has enjoyed a great deal of success in qualifying for the state playoffs in each of the last two seasons and in three of the previous five, all of which came under Diffendaffer’s leadership. Ticnor explained both the chance to help steady the ship as well as build on the on-field successes of the recent past made the opportunity highly appealing.  

“The last calendar year has seen some challenges in the building, and with this program; that’s not something that concerns me since I’m going to take this program in a new direction. I’m going to bring some fresh energy to community and to the school,” explained Ticnor, who will also teach physical education at BHS. “The tradition in the school and in the community was one of the things that attracted me to this position. I think the change to compete in the Patriot League, one of the premier leagues in the region, if not the whole state, was also very attractive.”

With the later than desired start, Ticnor said his primary focus has been on assembling the rest of his coaching staff and getting as many players involved in the summer conditioning and weight training programs. Another top priority, said Ticnor, is building ties with the Berthoud community to help build support for the program as well as recruit more players.

“It’s a priority,” Ticnor said of recruiting new players and building community support. “I’ve spent some time at the middle school, I’ve been out in the community, I had a chance to take in Berthoud Day and meet a lot of the players and see what I can do to get some more kids interested in what we’re doing here.”

He continued, “With my background at Colorado State, recruiting is definitely something that is very important to me; we had an opportunity there to get some of the best talent in the nation to a Mountain West school and to really start to build that program, so I understand the importance to getting the numbers up and getting kids interested in what we’re doing here.”

Ticnor was quick to point out that once his coaching staff is complete, he finds the right roles for each coach, and will “fill in where needed,” given his wide array of experience in all aspects of the game and that his preference is to serve as a “coach of the coaches.”

“I’m not one of these coaches that says ‘I have my systems and I’m going to implement them and we’re going to do them come hell or high water.’ I’m going to evaluate the talent and I’m going to evaluate the coaches, and I’m going to ask the coaches to coach what they can and then we’re going to implement our systems based upon what we have available to us,” he explained.

Asked what kind of an approach he will take in leading his team, Ticnor explained the message will be all about being well-rounded as both players and as people. “I’m all about affecting people in a positive way; I feel that doing that on the field, in the classroom and in the community is the best approach, and I’ve been preaching to the kids ‘We’re going to do what’s right around here,’ and that applies all three of those aspects,” he remarked. “That’s going to give them tools moving forward as young adults, not just as football players. I’m a positive reinforcement style of coach.”

“I’m extremely honored and humbled to have this opportunity. This is a big, big opportunity for me and my family,” Ticnor said when asked what message he has for the Berthoud community. “I’m going to be one of the hardest-working coaches in the state and get this program to be one that the whole community can be proud of and one that lives up to the level of the tradition that’s expected around here.”

Training camp practices will begin for the BHS football team in early August, and the Spartans will play their first regular-season game on Aug. 30 against Platte Valley High School in Kersey. Ticnor mentioned that anyone interested in joining his coaching staff in any capacity should contract him at  [email protected]

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