After 21 seasons as a head high school football coach — the last 10 at Woodland Park — Joe Roskam has decided to step away.
Roskam, who turns 45 on Friday, announced April 23 that he resigned from the Panthers football program. He also resigned from his duties as the school’s athletic director, effective at the end of the school year.
“It’s been awesome for 10 years, but I felt it’s time for a new voice in the football program,” Roskam said. “I’ve been involved in football since 1984 as an elementary school kid, and never really stopped.”
Roskam has accepted a dean’s position at Sierra High School, where he was head coach from 2004-10. He guided the Stallions to consecutive playoff appearances in 2007 and 2008.
“I’m not going to coach there, I’m just going to help young coaches run programs,” Roskam said. “I’ve got a lot of friends there still.
“It was fun time for me when I was there before and it should be fun again.”
Roskam never achieved his ultimate goal — on the field — of winning a state championship in his three stops as head coach. He also coached four seasons at Cripple Creek-Victor from 2000-03, when the program played at the 11-man level.
Roskam began his career as an assistant at Harrah High School in Oklahoma, where he worked from 1997-99.
Woodland Park played at the Class 2A level his last two seasons. The Panthers were 2-4 last fall, but in 2019 they went 5-4 — their first winning season since 2005 — and missed out by percentage points in RPI standings of qualifying for the postseason.
Last fall, Roskam was honored as the Denver Broncos high school football coach of the week after guiding the Panthers to a 23-21 Week 1 win over Alamosa. The award is selected in a partnership between the Colorado High School Activities Association and the NFL team.
Roskam’s 2011 Panthers team that went 5-5 at the 3A level produced Louis Neil, the punter on the 2014 CSU-Pueblo team that won the Division II national championship.
“It didn’t seem like 10 years,” Roskam said of his time at Woodland Park. “From that first season here to the last we’ve had a lot of ups and downs and created a lot of memories.”
Woodland Park senior two-way lineman Griffin Owens praised Roskam.
“I couldn’t ask for a better mentor or a guy in my life to help me to do the right things,” Owens said. “He showed me how to walk, talk and be like a champion. And he did that for a lot of other guys on the team.”
Both of Roskam’s sons played for him at Woodland Park — Dominic (class of 2018) and Braden (2021).
Woodland Park principal Kevin Burr posted the positions of football coach and athletic director on the Colorado High School Activities Association website April 26 and said he has already received several qualified applications.
“I told Joe if he changed his mind we’d already have the best guy for the job,” Burr said. “He’s given everything he’s had to Woodland Park. His shoes will be huge to fill.”
Burr added that he hopes to have both positions filled by June 1.
“We’ve got great kids and we’ve got great community support,” Burr said. “We feel we’re a diamond in the rough.”