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Centaurus names graduate as leader of Warriors – Boulder Daily Camera

Tyler Oliver, the new Centaurus head basketball coach, talks with the Warriors as an assistant. (Photo courtesy of Tyler Oliver)

Tyler Oliver, a Broomfield High School teacher and 2009 Centaurus graduate who recently landed the job as head coach of the boys basketball team at his alma mater, can hardly leave his classroom without taking an opportunity to talk basketball.

Not long ago, the 33-year-old convinced the Warriors and athletic director Karl Buck that he was ready to make the step up from high school assistant to the next level, adding to the support network he feels from the Lafayette community where his parents still live to his workplace in Broomfield, which currently looks like a who's who of excellent local basketball coaches.

“I’m very lucky to be able to talk to some of the best coaches out there every day,” said the history teacher.

Working alongside him in Broomfield's social studies department are his former boss and longtime Eagles basketball coach Terrence Dunn, who led the program in wins last season — now with 243 — and former Fairview principal Patrick Burke.

And then there's Travis Maron, Oliver's predecessor. Maron resigned after leading the Warriors for the past nine years and is set to become a physical education teacher at the school in the fall.

Brandon Pitzer, who previously directed the boys' program in Arvada, now teaches special education.

“I'm lucky that I have a lot of really good coaches who are nice guys,” Oliver said. “They would help me even if I had to train against them.”

Tyler Oliver, Centaurus' new head basketball coach, during a game as an assistant against Broomfield. (Photo courtesy of Tyler Oliver)
Tyler Oliver, Centaurus' new head basketball coach, during a game as an assistant against Broomfield. (Photo courtesy of Tyler Oliver)

After 14 years as a youth basketball coach, Oliver gets his first chance to lead a high school program.

He said he has been coaching at the club level in the city since he was 19. He jokingly tells people he is “famous” because he coached Owen Koonce in middle school. Koonce, of course, became a star at Centaurus, then played at CU-Boulder before transferring to Colorado Mesa.

He worked for the Colorado Titans, managed by his father's longtime friend Rick Jimenez, and most recently served as an assistant on the staffs of Maron and Dunn.

He praised them for his development into a leader on the court and said he uses what he has learned from each to put his own stamp on Centaurus.

His new role, and that of his predecessors, is to help children grow into young men.

“He was really impressive in his interview,” Buck said. “The whole committee was really impressed with his energy, his enthusiasm and being part of Coach Maron's staff and working with him for a couple of years. Travis was one of the better coaches in the area for nine years. But (Oliver) really impressed us on his own with his plan and his vision of where he wants to take the program.”

Oliver worked under Dunn for about four seasons and coached Maron for two years. He was part of his team last winter when they went 6-17.

With the acquisition of Centaurus, he is in charge of a program that has had 18 or more wins for three consecutive seasons (excluding the pandemic year) – including a 20-win season in 2022 with a Class 4A quarterfinal appearance.

Since then, however, they have only won 14 games in the last two years.

“My big thing is that we play with heart,” he said. “There's an award for students and players at Centaurus called 'Heart of a Warrior.' And that to me is the meaning of Centaurus basketball. It's easy to shy away from putting your heart and soul into it, because what if you fail? And that's even harder for the kids today. So we want to help the kids put their heart and soul into things on and off the court.”