Column: Lowry’s influence shines through

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Columbine coach honored with national award

By Michael Hicks

Andy Lowry, Columbine High School’s football coach, if anything else is a modest person. He defers credit for his success to anybody and everybody else. The school’s administration staff, his assistant coaches, the Lord himself.
But there’s little doubt that Lowry is an influential character in his own right.
The 2012 Columbine Courier Coach of the Year received the “Power of Influence Award” from the American Football Coaches Association on Jan. 8 in Nashville, Tenn. Lowry is the first Colorado coach to be recognized with the honor. He was nominated by the Colorado High School Coaches Association. He was one of eight finalists for the award.
“It’s probably one of the most special awards, a national award the power of influence award,” Lowry said. The other finalists were Paul Maechtle, Southeast Hills High School (Bradenton, Fla.); Rick Wimmer, Fishers High School (Fishers, Ind.); Steve Hancock, Branson High School (Branson, Mo.); Larry Hill, Smithson Valley High School, (Spring Branch, Texas); Peter Moe, Washburn High School (Washburn, N.D.); Paul Monk, New Life Academy (Woodbury, Minn.); and Mark Batton, Magnolia High School (New Martinsville, W.Va.). “(Receiving this) is probably a couple of things. One is longevity, which means I’m getting old. But it means a lot to accept this not only on my behalf, but for my assistant coaches who’ve been with me for so long, and the players who’ve played for me. I’m just kind of the figurehead for it.”
Lowry may not want to be in the spotlight himself, but there’s little doubt of what kind of presence he has had walking the sidelines since 1992 when he started out at Lakewood High. He has a career record of 202-51, earning his 200th career victory this past season in Columbine’s 38-15 win over rival Chatfield. He led the Rebels to the second round of the 5A state playoffs this past season. But, in typical Andy Lowry fashion, he spreads the credit for Columbine’s success among those around him, including school administrators and his loyal assistant coaches.
“It’s humbling. It’s a great honor. A lot of it had to do with several reasons,” Lowry said, specifically noting the Columbine High tragedy. “All the things we went through as a school, community, state and nation. That group of kids in 1999 and 2000, the student body for those two years to overcome that tragedy. It was God’s healing hand that took care of all of us. That’s one of the biggest reasons I’m getting this award. Probably one of the biggest reasons.”
Then there’s the success his football teams have had on the playing field.
Since 1999, Columbine has won five 5A state championships, including a 41-31 victory over Lakewood to complete a 14-0 season in 2011. The Rebels have won 11 conference championships.
And, still, a humbled Andy Lowry is flattered to be recognized for Columbine’s success. Rest assured, though, he deserves every honor bestowed upon him.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.