Battle Mountain names Schuppler new coach as football coach
Come on down, Jim Schuppler.
You’re the next contestant on The Price is Right/Huskies Football.
Battle Mountain announced on Tuesday that Schuppler is the new football coach at the school.
“Man, I’m so excited,” he said. “I applied the last time, and it didn’t work out. It feels like a long time coming. Probably, I wouldn’t have gone down to (Colorado) Springs, if I had to do it all over. I dropped my phone in the snow I was so excited when I got the news.”
As Schuppler, who lives in Edwards with his wife, Lisa, is the school’s 10th football coach dating back to 1997, his message is clear.
“I’m committed. I’m here,” Schuppler said. “I work at Moontime Cyclery. I’m engrained here. I’m home.”
He also is part of the David Joyce coaching tree. Schuppler coached special teams, wide receivers, defensive backs and the Huskies’ JV team from 2008-2011.
The Joyce tree
The Joyce connection is a plus for anyone involved with Huskies football. Joyce was the one who turned Battle Mountain in his four years in Eagle-Vail and Edwards. In his years, the Huskies went from 0-10 in 2008 to 9-2 in 2011, the program’s only playoff appearance since 1993.
Joyce left for Doherty High School after the 2011 season, taking then-defensive coordinator Jeff Krumlauf and Schuppler with him. Joyce turned around Doherty as well and is doing the same in at Mountain Home High School in Arkansas, while Krumlauf succeeded Joyce in Colorado Springs.
After four years with Doherty, Schuppler moved back to Edwards, a fact that was important to Battle Mountain athletic director Christopher Bailey during the hiring process.
“It’s his passion for the community and his passion for the school,” Bailey said. “He has experience coaching here and at Doherty. He has seen all phases of building a program.”
Having had the experience of coaching at Battle Mountain gives Schuppler a leg up on others who have started the Herculean task of turning things around in Edwards.
With the exception of the Joyce years, Battle Mountain football has struggled on the field, making the team less attractive to prospective athletes. The result is that the program doesn’t increase numbers and continues to scuffle.
Schuppler says he followed the Huskies the last two years while he hasn’t been coaching. He knows that the 3A Western Slope is a gauntlet with Palisade, Rifle, Glenwood Springs and Eagle Valley.
And he says there are “no secrets” when it comes to building the program.
“You have to put in the work,” Schuppler said. “I am committed to the valley and the program. We are starting the next era of Battle Mountain football. One of the things I took from Joyce was keeping it fresh. Doing 10 sets (in the weight room) can be mundane. We didn’t do a stock workout. Some days, we were outside, running hills or flipping tires. We’re going to come at them at different angles.”
Schuppler grew up in Northern Wisconsin, and bleeds green and gold.
“I remember the first time I saw a football game. It was a Packers game. I was mesmerized,” he said. “That carried all the through to when I got a chance to play Pee Wee, and I was out of my mind.”
Schuppler played football all through high school as a quarterback and hybrid defense position of strong safety and linebacker.
His love of football continues to this day.
“I think it’s offering a fun side of football, an exciting side of football,” Schuppler said. “We were always evolving under Joyce, and it’s my plan as well, to keep the kids challenged, keep them interested. The other part of it is showing my commitment to them, what I’m going to give back in time and energy. At some point, whether they realize it or not, that kid will reciprocate because he’s valued and cared about.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934.