Basketball

Former Brush High School basketball coach Joe Edson honored at luncheon

Former Brush High School basketball coach Joe Edson honored at luncheon

Former Brush High School basketball players gathered together on Sunday, August 15 to celebrate their coach Joe Edson at The Course Cafe at The Course at Petteys Park.

Edson had an incredible tenure with the Beetdiggers as they went to the State Championship six times in seven years and won in 1965 and 1969. Edson had a final record of 124 wins and only 21 losses from 1963-1970.

Not only did Edson have an incredible career at BHS, but he left a lasting impression on his players that they have carried with them far beyond their days on the court. People flew from all over to come together and honor Edson on Aug 15i, ncluding one gentleman, Stan Olsen, who traveled from Alaska to be at the event.

The group of roughly 30 started by taking a tour of the Brush High School basketball courts before heading over to The Course Cafe at 1 p.m. for lunch. It was clear that many had not seen one another in quite a while and were happy to be back together and catch up about all the things that have happened since they graduated from high school.

Edson also had his two sons, Mark and Patrick, present, as well as his grandson Cade and Patrick’s wife, Erin Goff. Unfortunately, Edson’s wife passed away on June 19, but it was said that she had been greatly looking forward to the event.

Once the lunch began, the room filled with laughter as stories were recalled and memories were shared. Coach Edson gave a speech thanking everyone for attending.

“It’s an honor and a thrill to be here today,” said Coach Edson. “Great to see all of you and I hope you’ve had good lives.”

Coach Edson took the time to acknowledge all the team managers, assistant coaches, trainers and the community for their support over the years and their contributions to the team’s success.

“You were part of an unusual group of high school athletes who in general never do what you did,” said Coach Edson. “The thing for us is that we won. We won 124 games in seven years and lost 21. We went to states six times. I’m extremely proud, and that can never be taken away from you.”

Coach Edson was sure to also reflect on the 10 players who passed away and were unable to make it on Aug. 15.

“You all were great players,” continued Coach Edson. “We were good because we were good. We may not have won everything, but we were always there. We never had a losing season in seven years and there’s not many teams that can say that. Thank you, all of you. You’re always welcome at my house.”

Old scorebooks, team photos and action photos were displayed across tables for people to look at. The former players recalled games and specific memories of their time with Coach Edson at BHS.

Edson was also a biology teacher at BHS and many of the men took his class, as well as played for him. They talked about how much Edson taught them life lessons that went beyond playing basketball and that they carry into their careers now.

“Coach has had a positive impact on every person in this room,” said Tim McGlynn. “You are the one person that had the biggest influence on my choice of career path.”

“In communities like Brush, playing on a basketball team in Brush, there’s so much history,” said Tom Travis. “We learned all those teamwork lessons from Coach Edson, so I think it’s very fitting that great coaches like Edson are honored for being great members of the community.”

After people had finished eating lunch and had time to converse with one another, a microphone was passed around the room to give everyone the opportunity to thank and recall fond memories of Coach Edson.

It was an emotional moment as these now grown men reflected on the huge impact Coach Edson had on their lives. Many also shared how Coach Edson helped them stay on the right path as they navigated a critical time in their young adult lives going through high school.

“Stay humble and humility. Those are the two best things that coach taught me,” said Brendy Lee. “Reason we had this event was because Coach Edson, even though he hasn’t coached since the ’70s, he’s one of the best coaches in Colorado.”

“We were sad when coach’s wife passed away on June 19,” continued Lee. “We should have had this event 10 to 15 years ago. Well past time to recognize coach not only for his record 124 wins and only 21 losses but his winning percentage, 92%.”

A few wives also attended the event with their husbands and acknowledged what a tremendous impact Edson had on their husbands’ lives. Many also told old stories that caused the room to erupt in laughter as they recalled their various antics as high schoolers.

“I was 5 when he quit coaching and you hear over the course of growing up what it meant to him to be on a team and everything like that, but you’re always wondering what’s the other side,” said Patrick Edson. “It was great to see that he had an impact on so many people and I think that’s the ultimate report card any of us could have when we leave this Earth if there’s a lot of people that can say I’m a better person because you were here.”

During the testimonials, the thank you’s were numerous and each player emphasized what an honor and a privilege it was for them to play under Coach Edson.

“I think it’s so great for Joe and his family to reconnect with a lot of people, for us to reconnect with each other,” said Greg Wagers. “Just the fact that we get to do this and share this time I think that’s great.”

The players presented Coach Edson with a signed basketball at the end of the event and everyone stood to give a final standing ovation to Edson.

“You don’t really expect these days to come about this late in life and I’m terribly happy,” said Coach Edson. “First tribute I’ve ever received and I’m so thankful for it. Most of them have made their way in the world already. Being in this room reminds you of 50 years ago. I just wish for them to be healthy and enjoy their families and lives.”

It was a momentous day as everyone had the opportunity to embrace one another again after 50 years and to honor their coach, Joe Edson, for his tremendous career at BHS and his impact on the players’ lives.

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