Beth Buglione the first fe­male head foot­ball coach in state his­tory

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By John Rosa and John Bear John Rosa: 303-473-1315, rosaj@dai­ly­cam­; John Bear: 303-473-1355. bearj@dai­ly­cam­ or twit­­bear­withme

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.

“In­ter­est­ing choice”

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.”

Cliff Grass­mick, Daily Cam­era

Beth Buglione, the foot­ball coach at Nederland High School, says “I was just fol­low­ing my pas­sion.”

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