Prep football stock image

After 20 years of coaching through various parts of Colorado Springs, Nic Olney landed his dream job to start a football program at the area’s newest high school, Banning Lewis Prep.

Olney most recently spent three seasons with Widefield leading the Glads to a 13-17 overall record, but announced he was stepping away from football in January 2019 due to health concerns. The Harrison grad said he has felt much better in the last 6-9 months, and the opportunity at Banning Lewis was too good to pass up.

“I never wanted to get out of coaching, and I saw a great opportunity and I jumped on it,” Olney said. “It’s my dream to start a program from scratch. One of my mentors, Shawn Mitchell (coach at Discovery Canyon) has told me stories about being able to put your stamp on everything, and what it’s like to start traditions, and that’s what I want to do.”

He has collected some of his traditions from his previous coaching positions, but said he wants his players to decide some of the program’s customs entering the 2020 season.

“The culture that I want to build is based on four principals: commitment, discipline, together and toughness,” Olney said. “I want a culture that’s a fun environment that really prepares kids on the field and for life.”

Olney, who was The Gazette Preps Coach of the Year in 2014, was introduced as the program’s first varsity coach in February and hit the ground running, putting in about two weeks of work with his future players before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down area schools.

The incoming freshman class was undefeated last year on the Banning Lewis eighth-grade team, according to Olney, and he said the program has about 40 athletes with potential to grow as the Banning Lewis area is considered one of the fastest-growing parts of the city.

Before his most recent tenure at Widefield, Olney spent five years at St. Mary’s and a season as an assistant at Liberty. He has also coached at Harrison, Ellicott and Colorado College.

The Stallions will compete in the Class 1A Santa Fe league next year, joining Rocky Ford, Peyton, Ellicott and Trinidad. They will open nonconference play against St. Mary’s, though the rest of the 2020 schedule has not been set.