Rangeview boys basketball coach Shawn Palmer (Denver Post file)
cool factoid — since Rangeview in Aurora opened in the early 1980s, the Raiders have had a grand total of two head coaches in boys basketball.
Considering the current era, which changes coaches the way cards are shuffled in Blackhawk, it’s fairly remarkable.
Current coach Shawn Palmer, now 38, appreciates it. He relieved Terry Taylor, who turned out to be an Aurora coaching legend. After serving as the Raiders junior-varsity coach in the 2002-03 season, Palmer relieved Taylor and has been there ever since.
“Terry set the bar so high that it was intimidating,” Palmer said on Sunday night. “I was in over my head. A couple guys on my staff were there at the beginning with me and we laugh at some of the years I had trying to figure it out as I went along. I was doing my best to fill his shoes.”
Taylor, who left Utah after serving as an assistant for three seasons, opened the Rangeview program in 1983-84 and quickly won a state championship on the next-to-highest level (Class 3A in a 4A system) in 1985. All told, Taylor compiled a 280-158 mark with the Raiders.
Palmer, who said he still chats with Taylor, recently won 20-or-more games for four seasons in a row and the past season won 19.
“I’m glad I stuck it out,” he said.
Ironically, he said he balked at the opportunity to head the program, then was grateful when athletic director Tony Antolini “gave me another shot.”
Rangeview isn’t complaining. The 5A Raiders are 9-0 and will face Regis Jesuit on Tuesday night in nonleague. It could be a milestone game for Palmer, who has compiled a 199-104 mark.
“But it’s not close to 700,” he said referring to Regis Jesuit coach Ken Shaw, who won his 700th the past week.
But it’s also not bad.
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