The first of Aurora’s four high school football coaching vacancies has been filled, as Aurora Central has brought Travis Peeples aboard.
On Monday, athletic director Dan Lliteras said a hire had been made and the school was just “attempting to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” and that was finalizing things with Peeples, the former offensive coordinator at Greeley West High School.
Lliteras was unavailable to officially comment on the hire until Friday, but he was at a league meeting at the Colorado High School Activities Association headquarters Thursday and told CHSAANow.com’s Ryan Casey that Peeples was the choice out of a pool of 25 applicants and 10 finalists.
“I think probably what brought us to him more than anything was his preparedness,” Lliteras said. “He knew more about us than some of my interview committee people did. Very well prepared. Really focuses on the details. Understands how to establish a program, not just, ‘I’m the varsity coach.’
“He really is genuinely concerned with, ‘How are we going to develop a full-blown program, top-to-bottom?’ That’s one of my big, big pet peeves. If you’re coming in here to just focus and get radar vision on a varsity level, you probably aren’t going to last with me very long. … He had a plan in place for the whole thing.”
Peeples fills the job previously held by Taylor Calvert, who was let go prior to Thanksgiving after three consecutive 2-8 seasons.
The hire leaves three open jobs in the Aurora high school football ranks at Rangeview, Smoky Hill and Vista PEAK.
Peeples coordinated the offense for a Greeley West team that finished 1-9 in 2013, but turned that around to go 8-3. The Spartans lost to Pueblo South in the first round of the 4A playoffs.
Like Calvert, Peeples played quarterback at the college level, as he manned the position at Central Florida in the early 1990s. He also coached at the high school level in Florida, as he served as interim coach of Pine Ridge in 1999 according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Aurora Central has a promising young quarterback in Austin Alvarez, who threw for 962 yards and seven touchdowns — against 13 interceptions — in his first season as a starter. Alvarez also rushed for 239 yards and four touchdowns.
The Trojans lose a big piece in senior Jevin Jordan, who was voted first team All-Mountain League as a running back and second team all-league as a linebacker, but expect to have back defensive lineman Mike Retland, who made the all-league first team.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel