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Cheyenne Mountain hockey coach Erik Austin coached his team to a 6-0 start, the program’s best start since 2016. Cheyenne Mountain was the only Pikes Peak region team to qualify for the playoffs and outscored opponents 65-32 in its 6-4 run in 2021.

Austin is The Gazette Preps Ice Hockey Coach of the Year.

Q: How many years have you been coaching, any level?

EA: “I have been coaching for 18 years, coaching some football, baseball, lacrosse and hockey.”

Q: What inspired you to become a coach?

EA: “My father was a coach and there was a lot of coaching in my family and it seemed like a nice fit being a teacher. I teach English at the high school.”

Q: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your 18 years of coaching?

EA: “I would say consistency, and just showing up every day and having a passion for it.”

Q: What was the most memorable moment from the 2021 season?

EA: “I think the most memorable moment was when we were in Pueblo for our fourth game and we officially won the league. That was our first goal we had set that we were able to check off. Our athletic director Kris Roberts and I designed our schedule to get our first league games in right away, just adapting to the season and COVID. Some other teams in the league didn’t do that and ended up not being able to play all of their games.”

Q: What is a piece of advice you would give to underclassmen coming through your program?

EA: “Be patient and be willing to work hard.”

Q: What is your coaching cliche?

EA: “I think this year with COVID it was ‘Put on your mask.’”