With promises of lessons on hard work, self-pride and a way to “strike out properly,” Ted Bergquist met some of his new Fort Lupton High School baseball players Jan. 13. He replaces Cory Miller, who coached the Bluedevils last spring.
Athletic director Cora Lanter said she met Bergquist while he was officiating a basketball game.
“He coaches kids. He coaches coaches,” Lanter said. “He’s got a lot of connections. He’ll be a positive influence for our kids. I was fortunate to have a conversation with him and get him to apply.”
Bergquist prepped at Rocky Mountain High School spent most of his playing career on the mound. After his career ended, Bergquist was the recruiting coordinator and coached both basketball and baseball at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely.
He said there is “no special sauce” for success, save for hard work.
“You have to work for everything in your career,” Bergquist told the audience. “The three best games I’ve ever been involved in .. we lost all three – were scores of 2-1, 5-4 and 6-5. That happens. I know what every coach knows, and every coach knows what I know. I also know it’s about work.”
Bergquist cited an example of a former player who was the 12th-fastest runner on his team.
“I told him he should go out for cross country,” Bergquist said. “When baseball practice started, he was the second-fastest runner. There is no secret sauce. What you are willing to put in, you will get out.”
As is the case with a lot of schools, Fort Lupton’s teams have to share athletes among programs. Bergquist said college coaches tend to prefer two-sport athletes.
“I have no problems with two-sport athletes,” he told the audience. “If you’re in two sports, you’re using different muscle groups. If you’re in two sports, take care of your other sport.”
Bergquist coached the Fort Collins GOJOs American Legion team. Bergquist was an umpire for 23 years – he reached the AAA level of the major leagues (the Pacific Coast League, specifically) -- and was one of the umpires for the high-school All-American game at Coors Field this summer. He trains umpires before they sign on with the Colorado High School Activities Association.
Bergquist installed three rules – be on time, give 100 percent effort on and off the field, in the classroom and the community and respect the game.
“Some teams will lead by 15 runs, steal second, steal third and go ahead by 16 runs. That’s not how you play the game,” Bergquist said. “Respect the game. I will put in a drill about how to strike out properly. Put the bat under your shoulder, go back to the dugout and then we’ll be mad.”
Bergquist lives in Fort Collins.
“But I want to be here,” he told his team. “I hope we can put together a baseball weight-lifting class. If we work some in December, we’re ahead of everyone else.”
The first practice is Feb. 28. Bergquist planned an informal workout session for 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20. The first game is March 10. The season schedule – a full 23 games as of last week, Lanter said – includes a two-day, four-game overnight trip to Pueblo in mid-March.
Bergquist is looking for sponsorships and other fundraising opportunities. If interested, call 720-207-4948.