Niwot Cougars Coaching Staff
Head Varsity Coach: Eric Hejl
Coach Hejl is in his fourth season at Niwot and his 11th season of coaching high school basketball. Hejl grew up and attended high school in the small NW Colorado town of Rangely where he participated in varsity basketball, golf, track, cross country, baseball and as a member of the drumline on back-to-back-to-back State Championship….marching bands! He then went on to get his BA in Sport & Fitness Management from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. After college graduation in 2007, he returned to Rangely where he worked as a Recreation Coordinator (and later a PE teacher) and start his coaching career. After 3 seasons coaching JV in Rangely, Coach Hejl got the opportunity to take over the program for 4 seasons as the varsity coach from 2010-2014. This season (2017) will be Coach Hejl’s 1st year as the head coach at Niwot. Previously he coached the D team in the ’15-’16 season and served as varsity assistant in ’16-’17. As for work away from Niwot, Hejl spends his days at Lake Valley Golf Club as an assistant golf professional.
In his spare time, Coach Hejl loves to spend time outside with his family, friends, his wife Marian and his 3 dogs, 2 cats and 1 lizard (seriously). Playing basketball, golfing, mountain biking, paddle boarding, hiking, snowboarding, sports talk radio, and live music are just a few of Coach Hejl’s favorite things.
Varsity Assistant: Charles Trowbridge
Coach CT is in his fourth year at Niwot High School. Before becoming the varsity assistant, he spent two seasons as the head JV coach. He grew up in a small Alaskan town before attending Eastern Oregon University to study music and English. He came to Colorado to pursue a Master’s degree in journalism, and enjoyed the state so much that he decided to stick around. CT loves the cognitive side of basketball and views the game as a greater framework for developing life skills like teamwork, selflessness, accountability and responsibility. He is a bona fide gym rat, and spends as much time on the court, playing or coaching, as possible. CT works in public relations and for a national PR firm – he is based in Boulder. In his spare time, outside of the office and the gym, CT likes to read books, listen to live music and explore Colorado.
JV Coach: Jared Fox
Coach Fox is in his third year teaching at Niwot High as a mathematics teacher, and he will be rejoining the Cougars staff after a year hiatus. Fox was the D-Team head coach in 2016/17 and previously held the role as varsity assistant where he taught/coached for two years back in the Midwest. He was born and raised in Janesville, Wisc., where he played varsity football, soccer, track, and basketball for his high school team. After high school, Fox decided to forgo playing any sports in college to focus on his education…and he graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a B.S. in Secondary Education-Mathematics in 2014. Outside of the classroom/basketball court, Fox enjoys cooking, watching sports, staying active, attending concerts, traveling, and attempting to enjoy the outdoors. He loves training players to be all-around athletes, and assisting kids to reach their individual potential on & off the court.
C-Team Head Coach: Joe Kear
Coach Kear is in his seventh year at Niwot High as a Special Education Teacher and also serves as the Special Education Department Chair. This will be his 23nd year teaching and coaching at the high school level. Joe played both basketball and baseball on scholarships in college. After college Joe began his teaching and coaching career in Kansas in 1996. He taught Business classes and coached Freshman and Sophomore levels at Heights High School (class 6A) for five years. Heights finished as Region Champs and State Runner-up in 1998. In 2001, Joe moved to Arizona from Wichita, Ks. and taught at Desert Vista High School – coaching the Freshman, Junior Varsity and serving as Varsity Assistant. He led the Junior Varsity to a two-year mark of 66-7 and assisted with the Varsity program in two Final Four appearances, a Runner-Up and a National Ranking. Desert Vista was selected to be a Nike sponsored school and Joe was also invited to Coach at the Michael Jordan “Flight School” in Santa Barbara, CA. (2002-2006). He then took a Head Boy’s Basketball position at Tempe High School in AZ and coached for three years before stepping down with the birth of his first and only child Evan in 2006. Coach Kear has a passion for academics and athletics and demands excellence in both from his student-athletes.
D-Team Head Coach: Walker Bounds
Walker Bounds is coaching for his second year at Niwot High School on the Freshman Team level. Walker is currently a student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Despite it only being his second year coaching, Walker is not new to Niwot High School. Walker graduated NHS in 2016, and spent most of his time around the Niwot Basketball program. Walker was a three year letterman who received all-conference and all-county honors throughout his basketball career. In his free-time, walker enjoys training with weights and walking his dog.
Program Volunteer: Mike Gossett
Coach Gossett is in his 2nd year of coaching with Niwot High School. Originally from Grand Junction, CO, Mike graduated from Fruita Monunent where they won a State Championship. He went on to play 4 years at Hastings College where they went to the NAIA National Tournament his last two years. Coaching fundamentals and increasing basketball IQ are his specialties. He also loves coaching the big men. Coach has a daughter who is a Junior at NHS and a wife with her own food and cooking business.