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New coach out, Gary Heide returns to Bayfield football in 2021

Gary Heide will be back to lead the Bayfield High School football team in 2021. He had announced his retirement after the 2020 season, but a sudden change to the school’s coaching plan going into the summer has brought him back for a 10th season in 2021. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)
Grumke was hired in February, never coached Wolverines before resignation

"It still doesn’t feel real,“ Ethan Grumke said in February after being hired to take over the Bayfield High School varsity football team. Turns out, it wasn’t real.

For the second time in a little more than three months, Bayfield High School announced a new head coach. A news release issued at 10:05 p.m. Thursday said Grumke had resigned.

Bayfield School District turned to coach Gary Heide and asked if he would return for another season. He had retired after nine years leading the team at the end of the 2020 season, and he also retired from teaching. But after being asked to resume his duties with the start of summer practices only a week away, the two-time state champion coach of the Wolverines decided to come back for a 10th season.

“We are pleased to have coach Heide stepping in to lead our program for another season,” Bayfield School District Superintendent Dr. K. Kevin Aten said in a news release. “He is a great leader of young student-athletes and a proven winner.”

Heide led BHS to state championships in 2015 and 2017. As head coach of the Wolverines, the team made the state semifinals four times and won five league championships.

He said he was surprised to be called into a meeting with the athletics department but said the conversation was pretty simple.

“They asked if I would do it for at least a year, and after I talked to my family, I decided to do it,” Heide said. “I am still retired from teaching, but it will be a whole lot of fun to coach and just focus on that. I will do it for the enjoyment of helping kids be better.”

Bayfield had hired Grumke after a quick coaching search. An assistant football coach and head track and field coach at Oak Grove High School in Missouri, Grumke had said he was excited to take over as a first-time head football coach after being hired by BHS in February.

Ethan Grumke had been hired in February to coach the Bayfield High School football team. It was announced Thursday night that he will not be coaching the team and that former head coach Gary Heide would return for another season. (Courtesy)

Grumke met his wife Lauren McMunn, a 2013 graduate of Durango High School, while the two were at Evangel University where he played football. He said the two were eager to move close to her family in Colorado.

Grumke, who also was hired to teach math at BHS, planned to begin work with the Wolverines in the summer after his teaching and track and field coaching duties were finished for the year at Oak Grove. But he never made it to Bayfield before the school accepted his resignation.

Grumke’s social media accounts have recently been deleted. He is still listed on the Oak Grove High School staff directory.

Heide has a 67-24 record in charge of the varsity football team at BHS with the two Class 2A state championships. He is only four wins shy of the school’s all-time record of 71 set by Butch Prior, who spent 15 seasons with the Wolverines and coached the team to its first state title in 1996.

Heide said the coaching staff is mostly in place. Grumke had made a few new hires, and Heide will keep those coaches in place along with a slew of volunteer coaches.

“The paid staff is all in place. The coach who resigned had brought back three assistants and hired a new assistant coach in Mike Cook,” Heide said. “Cash Snooks was brought in there, too, and he will be a great addition with his enthusiasm and willingness to learn.

“We have Kevin Wold and Justin Ross back, and they are great people. Colter McMenimen also was a paid coach last year and will return as a volunteer, and I appreciate that and will keep him going as special teams coordinator and working with the defensive backs. I am also excited to work with someone who had coached with me before in Mike Wood, who is going to help volunteer.”

The Wolverines will look to bounce in back in 2021 from an 0-4 record during last fall’s COVID-19 shortened season.

“We have a fantastic coaching staff and group of kids that will make adjustments,” Heide said. “The biggest thing is to do what is right for the kids.”

jlivingston@durangoherald.com

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