Seeing is believing: Coach Chris Jones back in the fold, with Windsor partaking in spring football practices
May 3, 2017
The Chris Jones File
» Chris Jones is back coaching Windsor’s football team. He resigned as the Wizards’ coach after the 2015 season to accept a teaching job at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins.
» Jones returned as Windsor’s coach this spring, replacing this past season’s interim coach, Skylar Brower, who took a job as the offensive coordinator at Fossil Ridge.
» During his previous stint coaching the Wizards, Jones’ teams went 81-29 in nine years, winning state titles in 2011 (3A) and ’15 (4A).
» Jones will also teach math at Windsor High School.
WINDSOR — In the early morning hours, just as the sun was peaking over the mountains to the west Tuesday morning, Joel Kopcow's and Connor Apodaca's eyes weren't deceiving them.
Sure enough, former and since returned Windsor football coach Chris Jones bounced around from station to station at sunrise with his endless energy during a spring football practice.
Sometimes even the most blunt of realities can seem surreal.
But seeing is believing: Jones is back at Windsor after a year away.
“I had been here nine years, and I was never really, fully detached from these guys and this school and the community. I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to get back here.
— Chris Jones, Windsor football coach
Jones is wrapping up the tail end of his yearlong stint as a math teacher at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins. He's back on the practice field for the Wizards' football program, a program he headed for nine years before taking the job at Rocky Mountain to remain closer to his family and their Fort Collins home.
Jones previously commuted to teach and coach at Windsor.
Jones, his wife, Julie, and sons, Ellis and Henry, are in search of a house in Windsor. But permanent residence aside, Jones said, in a sense, he's already returned home with the Windsor football program.
"I had been here nine years, and I was never really, fully detached from these guys and this school and the community," said Jones, who will also teach again at Windsor, starting next school year. "I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to get back here."
Jones said there was a lot that happened this past fall that routinely called him back to the community in which he spent a large chunk of his coaching and teaching career. Most notable, and tragic, of all were the deaths of two of Jones' former students.
Jones went 81-29 in his previous tenure with the Wizards, leading Windsor to a 3A title in 2011 and a 4A championship in '15, the season before he initially departed.
Jones praised the work of this past season's interim coach, Skylar Brower, a former assistant of Jones who led the program to a 9-4 record and a trip to the Class 4A semifinals.
Brower has accepted a job as the offensive coordinator at Fossil Ridge.
When Jones' return to Windsor was made official in early March, mere rumor was replaced by sheer reality.
Apodaca said there had been rumblings in the halls of Windsor High School about Jones' pending return before Jones, himself, announced his return during a meeting with the team in the school's cafeteria.
"It was kind of a rumor around school that wasn't supposed to get out," said Apodaca, who will be a senior quarterback on the team this fall. "The first couple weeks, there was just a couple people talking about it. But then everyone started talking about it. So, I was thinking, maybe it is true. Fortunately, it was true."
Windsor is in its second week of early morning spring practices and will continue to practice before class during the last few weeks of the school year.
Kopcow admitted he was rubbing his eyes a little bit those first few times seeing Jones back in Windsor's weight room and on the practice field.
"It was definitely not expected at first, but once (Jones) did get out here, it was awesome," said Kopcow, a senior-to-be linebacker. "It's just been a good opportunity. We've all just been working, and it's just been great having (Jones) back."