The Doherty football program has amassed four wins over the last three seasons. On Tuesday, Doherty turned to David Joyce to be its third coach in four seasons and to build the program as he did at Battle Mountain.
Joyce led the Huskies to the playoffs in 2011 after taking over a program that was 1-9 in 2007.
“Doherty seems committed to turning the program around and doing things to turn the page,” Joyce said. “Kind of like Battle Mountain.”
Joyce takes over for Vince Villani (2-18 in two years) who reportedly resigned.
The University of Arkansas alum was chosen from about 20 candidates, athletic director Chris Noll said. Many of the applicants had been assistants at other programs. The difference with Joyce?
“He’s been a head coach and run a program,” Noll said.
On Monday, Joyce met about 70 players, who gathered in an impromptu meeting to see the new coach. Joyce was ecstatic by what he saw.
“I don’t know if 67 is a normal number or high or low,” said Joyce, who was an assistant at Green Forest High School in Arkansas before moving to Battle Mountain. “I know that there were enough eager eyes looking at me that we’re going to be able to get in there and get after it and work hard for each other.”
Joyce, who will finish his teaching contract at Battle Mountain through the spring, will be implementing a weight-lifting program soon.
It worked at Battle Mountain where he turned the kids into a 9-2 team in the 3A Western Slope Conference. It won’t get any easier for Joyce. While he moves to Colorado Springs, Doherty moves into what will be the 5A South Division, which includes three-time state champion Valor Christian — winners of back-to-back 4A titles and a 3A title in 2009.
“I’m not like most people,” Joyce said. “I like it. We were in the toughest 3A league in the Western Slope. I want to get Doherty to be the best football program in Colorado. For me and my staff that I’m bringing, that’s the real goal that we’re setting out to accomplish.”
Joyce will bring a defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Joyce will guide the offense.