NEDERLAND COACH A HISTORIC HIRE
Beth Buglione the first female head football coach in state history
NEDERLAND» Beth Buglione never set out to be a trailblazer.
A life-long football fan, Buglione has spent the past two decades doing everything she could to be a part of the sport she loves, whether it was as a player, as an official or even if it meant “carrying someone’s bag.”
But when Buglione, who moved to Firestone from Oregon in May, agreed to take the reins of the football program at Nederland High School in early June, it’s believed she became the first female head coach of the sport in Colorado history.
“It was never my intention to put a spotlight on me and to prove that women can do the job,” said Buglione, 52. “I was just following my passion.”
Buglione brings an eclectic résumé to the job, getting her start in the sport in 2001 when she read in a local paper in Corvallis, Ore., about an Independent Women’s Foot- ball League team looking for players. She went to the tryout, told the head coach she was going to be his quarterback, and held that position for the next three years.
Buglione eventually became the coach, general manager and owner of the team, the Corvallis Pride, until it folded in 2009.
Since 2001, she also has spent time as an official, coached a semipro men’s team, was an assistant at Philomath (Ore.) High School and most recently had a stint as the head coach of Sheridan (Ore.) High School.
“I was fortunate that there was a very accepting coaching community in Oregon,” Buglione said. “If you know what you’re doing, the kids are going to accept you and the other coaches are going to accept you.”
Whether she wants to be a trailblazer or not, in Colorado it appears Buglione will be just that.
“To my knowledge, this is the first female high school head football coach in our state,” said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann.
The news stirred conversation Saturday at one traditional Nederland gathering place.
Pioneer Inn owner Cindy Shaw said she had not heard about Buglione’s hiring, but she supports seeing “strong females taking leadership roles.”
“I remember growing up with my mom and my aunt and they were expected to be nurses, teachers, wives, secretaries or bad women,” she said. “Getting women into these (leadership) roles is a way to start unlocking doors.”
Nederland resident Ray Visco was sitting at the Pioneer Inn having a beer, and when talk broke out around the subject, he chimed in that it will be interesting to see a woman come into a testosterone-drenched sport like football.
He added that he is perfectly fine with it, and he thinks the town will be too.
“We can’t have a football program without a coach,” he said. “I think the town will fully support her, and even the kids whose dads drive backhoes won’t care.”
Also present was Nederland resident Jon Eischeid, who said that while the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of former coach Aaron Jones caused drama in the town, he supported the hiring of a woman to lead the football team.
“Is it a great choice?” he said. “I can’t tell you that. But it’s an interesting choice, and I hope it works out.”
Beth Buglione, the football coach at Nederland High School, says “I was just following my passion.”