From the Cheyenne Mountain Edition, August 30, 2017
BY KEVIN CARMODY
Don’t worry about Robert Bentley not having previous experience as an athletic director as he heads into his new endeavor at Sierra.
He’s more than qualified.
From his days as a Sierra student to the last seven years in teaching, coaching and mentoring in a variety of platforms at his alma mater, Bentley certainly will draw from all of those experiences in leading the Stallions’ athletic department. He officially replaced Brian Petzold, who left earlier this summer to take a similar position at Sand Creek, on Aug. 14.
“He might be our first homegrown administrator,” Sierra principal Dr. Aaron Griffen said. “People have already seen him lead in a variety of ways, and once he was named athletic director, there was a lot of excitement on campus.”
Bentley, a 2003 Sierra graduate, earned his undergraduate degree from UCCS and completed his teaching licensure program through Regis University. Last year, he was granted a master’s degree from Colorado State-Pueblo and most recently served as Sierra’s concurrent enrollment professor for history and political science in addition to serving as varsity baseball coach.
He also was the social studies department chair and held a spot on the principal’s cabinet.
And thanks to a trial run as an administrator, Bentley has reached a position he figured was years away from his grasp.
“They called me in to help them get through the summer,” Bentley said. “I was already here, then I just applied for it and got the job. It’s nice to know the school as a former student, and I understand the process of what goes on in this office as a coach. In a way, I was almost shadowing Brian and the previous athletic director before him without even knowing it. This is a job I always said I’d do someday, but I didn’t know it would be this fast.”
During his previous seven years at Sierra, Bentley noticed a disturbing trend among the student body. Fewer students were choosing to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities. That’s something he wants to change.
“We’ve seen a drop in athletic participation at Sierra,” Bentley said. “My goal is to draw that back up and get kids who want to be here and get them involved. The outlook is good. We have a lot of freshmen who want to play sports. It’s all about getting them motivated to want to do something else besides just being a student.”
It was that passion for motivating students to be more that caught the eye of Griffen.
Then again, that was Bentley’s experience at Sierra. He was a four-year letterman in baseball who also lettered twice in golf and played trumpet in the school’s band.
“We had a conversation about getting more students to become scholars and athletes here,” Griffen said. “He’s also the activities director, and research shows that the more involved students are in athletics and activities, the greater the chance that they’ll have success in school and beyond school. That’s one of the things that impressed me about Bob.” Bentley, who returned to coach the school’s baseball team last season after a two-year hiatus to complete his master’s degree, won’t return to the dugout in 2018.
“I’ll have to give coaching baseball up,” Bentley said. “I’ll still be around baseball. That’s my thing. They’ll just have to hunt down a new baseball coach.”