Football: Legend tabs former Cherokee Trail coach Monte Thelen to head program

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Former Cherokee Trail football coach Monte Thelen addresses his team before a game against Denver East during the 2014 season. Thelen, who stepped down after 13 seasons at Cherokee Trail, has been hired as the new head football coach at Legend High School in Parker. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Former Cherokee Trail football coach Monte Thelen addresses his team before a game against Denver East during the 2014 season. Thelen, who stepped down after 13 seasons at Cherokee Trail, has been hired as the new head football coach at Legend High School in Parker. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

PARKER | Monte Thelen won’t miss a single season of coaching prep football after the former Cherokee Trail coach agreed to take over at Legend.

Legend athletic director Kevin Boley announced the hiring of the 55-year-old Thelen, the original coach that started the program at Cherokee Trail 2003 and stepped down shortly after the season, over Twitter on Wednesday.

“We are excited to welcome former CT Head Coach and 2012 Coach of the Year, Monte Thelen as our new Head Coach!! #good2beaTitan #Titanpride” Boley said via his Twitter account, @titanone. The Parker school finished 4-6 in 2015 under former coach Robert Doyle and suffered a 50-14 loss to eventual state champion Valor Christian in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Thelen stepped down from his post of 13 years at Cherokee Trail in November, shortly after the Cougars lost to Heritage in the opening round of the 5A state playoffs, saying it was time “to move on to the next chapter of my career.” He had an 89-48 overall record and guided Cherokee Trail to the playoffs in 11 of its 12 varsity seasons.

Cherokee Trail turned to Thelen’s longtime assistant, Dain Mangnall, to take over the program.

Thelen guided the Cougars all way from the early days through a stint in the 3A Denver Metro League, then the 4A Skyline League — where the Cougars lost a 6-0 overtime contest to Monarch for a chance to play for the state championship in 2007 — and then the next season into 5A and the Centennial League, where the program became relevant quickly.

Cherokee Trail lost to Valor Christian in the 2012 5A state championship game and made the semifinals the next season.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

MONTE THELEN’S COACHING RECORD BY SEASON AT CHEROKEE TRAIL

2015: 5-5 overall (lost in 1st round of Class 5A state playoffs); 2014: 3-7 overall (lost in 1st round of 5A state playoffs); 2013: 10-3 overall (lost in semifinals of 5A state playoffs); 2012: 12-2 overall (lost in 5A state championship game); 2011: 6-4 overall (lost in 1st round of 5A state playoffs); 2010: 11-2 overall (lost in semifinals of 5A state playoffs); 2009: 6-5 overall (lost in 2nd round of 5A state playoffs); 2008: 7-4 overall (lost in 2nd round of 5A state playoffs); 2007: 12-1 overall (lost in semifinals of 4A state playoffs); 2006: 9-2 overall (lost in 1st round of 4A state playoffs); 2005: 6-5 overall (lost in 1st round of 3A state playoffs); 2004: 2-8 overall (missed 3A state playoffs); 2003: Junior varsity schedule