Schmalz resigns as Fruita’s girls basketball coach

Dan Schmalz is resigning as the head girls basketball coach at Fruita Monument High School.

Schmalz, 30, coached the Wildcats for five seasons, last winter leading Fruita to a 14-10 record and an appearance in the second round of the Class 5A state tournament.

Fruita Athletic Director Denny Squibb announced Schmalz’s resignation Tuesday.

“I felt like being a head coach was taking a lot of time away from my family,” Schmalz said.

Schmalz has a son, Noah, 3, and daughter, Olivia, nine weeks.

“They’re learning a lot and I’d like to be a part of it,” Schmalz said.

Schmalz said he might take a job as a junior varsity or freshman coach, however.

He began coaching freshman volleyball and boys basketball at Olathe High School in 2004.

Two years later, he took the head girls basketball position at Fruita.

“Dan has done a good job with that program and he’s obviously a great person,” Squibb said. “We’ve been lucky to have him with the girls program.”

Squibb said he does not know who will replace Schmalz.

“We’re just on spring break, working on stuff,” Squibb said. “We’ll get that news out in the next few days.”

Schmalz leaves behind a team with a talented group of underclassmen, including senior-to-be Lauren LaBonde, who led the Wildcats in scoring.

“It makes me feel good, too, that I’m not leaving the next coach without anything,” Schmalz said. “I feel proud of what I’ve done at Fruita. For the most part, we had quality girls in the program. They were good as far as skills, but more important than that, they were good people.”


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