Three years ago, Jeff Beatty was an assistant coach when the Mesa Ridge girls' basketball team made school history, reaching the Class 4A semifinals for the first time before falling to Longmont.
As a new head coach heading into the 2011-12 season, Beatty had a rebuilding job ahead of him after a star-studded senior class graduated. He later took a junior-dominated team into the 4A quarterfinals in 2013 but came up short.
That core returned to finish the job as Beatty coached the school's first state champions with the Grizzlies winning it all this season.
"I'm so excited for the kids," Beatty said. "All that hard work paid off. We had a good season, but I wasn't so sure anyone would be able to win it all against a team with so much experience like Broomfield did. But our kids can flat play and they showed it."
Life forever changed following that historic victory.
"They're the big women on campus now," Beatty said. "It's pretty neat for them. The mayor is coming to see them, and it's finally sunk in now."
Kevin Carmody, The Gazette