Fruita Monument hires Bob Bledsoe as new softball coach
Bob Bledsoe didn’t come to western Colorado to coach high school softball, but he’s going to do it anyway.
Bledsoe on Thursday was hired by Fruita Monument High School Athletic Director Denny Squibb to be the new coach of the softball program. Bledsoe comes to Fruita Monument after a three-year stint as a volunteer assistant softball coach for Colorado Mesa University.
“People asked me when the job came open the first time if I’d be interested in applying, and … I told them that’s not the reason I came over here,” said Bledsoe, who amassed 405 victories as a high school softball coach. “But when it came open again after this year, I started considering it.”
A longtime softball coach at Erie High School, Bledsoe coached against CMU coach Ben Garcia when Garcia was the coach at Pueblo East. That relationship drew Bledsoe, 65, to come to Mesa to be an assistant coach under Garcia.
But when the Fruita job came open for a second time, Bledsoe said he got the urge to get back into high school coaching again.
“I love being able to help girls get to a point where they might be able to play in college,” he said.
He’s had a few of those players.
Bledsoe’s all-time high school softball coaching record is 405-87, including a 59-8 record in the postseason. His 11 state championships at Erie are the most in Colorado prep softball history, almost twice as many as the six apiece won by Legacy, Wheat Ridge and Arvada West. All total, Erie made 19 postseason appearances with Bledsoe as coach.
He’s also a member of the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame and the CHSAA Hall of Fame, though he’s not someone who’s ready to brag about that kind of thing.
“When I gave Denny my resume, it was just so they’d have an idea of what I’d done,” he said. “Really, all these records and things, they’re really not that big of a deal to me. The girls are a lot more important.”
Bledsoe is the third softball coach in the past three years for Fruita. He replaces Stephanie Williams, who took over the program last year after the resignation of former coach Eddie Mort.