Was Rebels' home win Bartok's swan song?

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By Joe Vaccarelli

Jim Bartok has a lot of accomplishments on his résumé.

More than 300 career wins, most wins all-time as coach at two schools and countless playoff appearances, including Columbine’s first Sweet 16 berth last season.

Bartok added one more win to his tally when his Rebels defeated Bear Creek 55-41 on senior night at Columbine.

Bartok, who is rumored to be retiring after this season, notched his 96th win at Columbine with relative ease in a game that his team led by more than 20 points for most of the way.

While Bartok wouldn’t deny that this was his last season at Columbine, he didn’t close the door to returning to coaching next year.

“Well they tell me it is (my last season), but I’m not quite sure yet. So I guess that’s what it is,” Bartok said.

If it is his last year, however, he picked a good team to go out with. The Rebels bettered their record to 9-2 in Class 5A Jefferson County, 17-4 overall and, with a pair of wins this week, will win the Jeffco League title. He also has two record-setting seniors that have led his team this season.

Randee Hayes is Columbine’s all-time leading scorer with a point total that Bartok thinks will stand for a long time. Alyssa Maccan recently became the Rebels’ all-time leader in 3-pointers made.

Both players added to their records against Bear Creek. Hayes scoring a game-high 22 points and Maccan hitting yet another 3-pointer, the 86th of her career.

Bartok’s record setters had a fair amount of praise for their coach after their final regular-season home game.

“I think that he makes us a team and better people. He teaches us new things and I think he’s just a really great guy and a really good coach,” said Hayes, who will attend CSU-Pueblo on a volleyball scholarship next year.

Added Maccan: “Coach has been really good to me and kept my head up and really coached me to the best that I can be so I’ve been really lucky to have a coach like him,” she said.

Bartok has a host of great memories from this season including a last-second win over Arvada West and is very appreciative of the seven years he has spent at the school.

“This has been remarkable for me. (Principal) Frank DeAngelis and (Athletic Director) Ed Woytek gave me an opportunity seven years ago and…it was like giving a guy dying of thirst a drink of cold water. It’s been remarkable. I love these kids, I love this school, I love this program…I’m just so appreciative of the opportunity I’ve gotten here,” Bartok said.

This may be Bartok’s last season at Columbine, but if it is, don’t be surprised to see him coach again somewhere down the line.

“Old coaches never die, they just find a gym somewhere to coach,” he said.