Palisade hires former Delta AD Hawkins to be new athletic director

Palisade High School’s new athletic director will have the advantage of familiarity with the league the Bulldogs play in and the challenges Western Slope schools face.

Only 40 miles down U.S. Highway 50 in Delta, Gregg Hawkins already has been doing much of what he’ll do in Palisade, having served as Delta High School’s athletic director through this past school year.

The Panthers and Bulldogs are members of the Class 4A Western Slope League for most sports, and both play in the 3A Western Slope Conference for football.

Like the District 51 schools, Delta provided Hawkins with challenges when it came to scheduling nonleague games and having to travel long distances to play.

“I think he’s a perfect fit for Palisade, coming from a similar-size school, and he knows the league,” School District 51 Athletic Director Paul Cain said. “He does a really good job.”

Cain said he knew Hawkins had a good reputation, and coaches at Delta High School spoke highly of Hawkins as a leader.

Hawkins steps into a position Krueger handled with aplomb for the past eight years, earning the honor of Colorado Athletic Director of the Year from the Colorado High School Activities Association in 2012.

In April, Krueger was hired to be the district athletic director for Aurora Public Schools.

“Obviously with the position Mike got, it tells you of the ability and how good of a job he did,” Cain said.

Krueger leaves big shoes to fill, but Cain said Hawkins will step right in, again mentioning he’s a perfect fit.

District 51 has one more athletic director to hire, as the position remains to be filled at Grand Junction High School, where Ned Pollert retired this spring.

Meanwhile, Delta has hired its new athletic director, choosing Jeremy McCormick to succeed Hawkins.


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