Colorado Academy Boys Varsity Lacrosse Coach, Randy Colley, enters his fourth season at CA this spring. An accomplished athlete in his own right, Colley still holds the record as Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer of 173 goals and 100 assists in 55 games. He was a four-year starter at attack at Notre Dame, served as elected team captain for two years, and holds the honors of Top in NCAA Scoring History: four NCAA tournament appearances, two-time All-American Honorable Mention, two-time Midwest Player of the Year, Notre Dame Male Athlete of the Year, and more.
Colley is originally from Wilton, Connecticut, where he played throughout high school. Colley says, “I played every sport growing up and had a variety of coaches from my mother the tennis coach, to my father, a soccer, lacrosse, and football coach. I learned from every one of them, and these experiences have allowed me to recognize the importance of the role that a coach can play in a young man’s life.”
“CA is a wonderful community that really revolves around student development. I am always impressed by the depth and breadth of the activities that the students are involved in and excel at.”
Since his own athletic career, Colley has coached lacrosse in Colorado at both the club and high school levels, and to every practice or game, he says he brings with him a little bit of each of those past experiences. Here is a conversation with the coach:
Q: Is there an experience, a former coach, or a game that guides your teaching and coaching? In other words, what in your experience influences your work at CA now?
Colley: We’re all a product of our experiences, and the coaches who have taught me along the way and the teammates with whom I have played have shaped my life. I learned from each and every one of them. So the foundation of my style and personality as a coach is a direct result of those experiences and those relationships. My involvement with team sports has been a huge part of my life, and I bring that perspective to the field every day. Our work as coaches and teammates is important.
Q: Many people talk about the lessons that coaches impart, and that those lessons extend far beyond the practice field.
Colley: What resonates here with you and in doing the things that I believe will make us most successful. And in terms of success, it’s easy to get distracted by the scoreboard at the end of the field, but that is not how we measure success. If we focus on bringing our best every day and pushing each other to reach that standard, then the rewards of achieving those goals will far surpass just wins and losses…I understand and embrace that as a coach, I am a model of commitment, discipline, honesty, awareness and character for players.
Q: You played sports throughout your youth. Why lacrosse? And what is your “sport” now?
Colley: I did play many sports growing up and loved to compete in anything. We were a tennis family, so I played on that circuit and loved soccer, as well. I narrowed my sports to football and lacrosse in high school and continued on with lacrosse at Notre Dame. Now, outside of coaching I love to play golf, and time (and getting old) is the only thing that prevents me from spending more time on courses, courts, and/or fields. Based on my personal experiences, I am a strong proponent of playing multiple sports while growing up, as each provides a different opportunity to learn how to compete, find ways to be successful, and establish roles/relationships in team sports. The current trend in specialization pressures kids and parents into making choices earlier. All of the reasons for that make perfect sense, but I’m not convinced that is the best thing for kids.
Q: Having played and coached a lot of places, what do you think makes Colorado Academy unique?
Colley: CA is a wonderful community that really revolves around student development. I am always impressed by the depth and breadth of the activities that the students are involved in and excel at. As a coach, competing priorities sometimes can be a challenge. At the same time, I know that athletics is very much a part of the program based on the support we receive from the administration and the families. I believe CA has the right perspective. In terms of our ability to compete, being a small school allows us to forgo some of the pressure to specialize. We need multi-sport athletes to be successful, and that is a unique opportunity for kids and coaches at CA. We cannot compete as individuals; we must do everything as a team.
Colley holds an MBA from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and is a management and technology consultant with Appirio, Inc. here in Denver.