Former Gateway football boss takes reins at Horizon

By Steve Smith
ssmith@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 3/29/21

To hear Robert Wetta tell it, his decision to apply for and get the football coaching job at Horizon High School was simple. “I have always had great respect for Horizon because they take such …

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Former Gateway football boss takes reins at Horizon

Posted

To hear Robert Wetta tell it, his decision to apply for and get the football coaching job at Horizon High School was simple.

“I have always had great respect for Horizon because they take such pride in their school and community,” Wetta said. “It is a great school where families and generations of kids continually go through the school.  The amount of people who work at Horizon that graduated from there is really a testament to how great a school it is.”

That wasn’t all.

“All of the sports teams through the years have represented Horizon with class and hard work, and I wanted to be a part of that culture,” he said. “Horizon is like its own small town and gets support from so many, and I can’t wait to be a part of it. “The Horizon kids seem to always represent the positives of what athletics is all about.”

Wetta was an assistant coach at Mitchell High School in Colorado Springs, the head coach at Coronado High School in the Springs and the head coach at Gateway High School in Aurora.

“Our offense and defense will be determined by what type of kids we have and what we can do to put them in the best possible positions to be successful,” Wetta said. “I have always enjoyed working with kids and feel like I can give back the same way my high school and college coaches did for me.  It is our responsibility to make Horizon football a great experience for these kids. High-school football will be the best time of their lives.”

Wetta played quarterback at both Idaho State and Fresno State universities.

“I was very fortunate to play with and for some of the best coaching minds in the country,” he said. “At Fresno State, our quarterback coach was Jeff Tedford (now the head coach at Fresno State, and at the University of California-Berkeley) and offensive coordinator and other Pac-12 schools) and really incorporate so much of what I do based off of what I learned from him.”

The roster of quarterbacks at the time Wetta was in Fresno included Lane Kiffin, the head coach at Ole Miss and former head coach at the University of Southern California;  Billy Volek, who played quarterback for the Tennessee Titans and the San Diego Chargers in the NFL; and David Carr, an incoming freshman. 

“I learned a lot from all of these guys, and I feel like I have a lot to offer our kids at Horizon from everything I have learned during my playing years,” Wetta said. “My high-school coach was Tom Sandoval at Mitchell High School, and he was one of the most successful high-school coaches to coach in Colorado.  I incorporate so much of my life and coaching from him as well.  He got the best out of kids and did it in a positive manner.  I hope one day these kids will look at me the same way I look at Tom Sandoval, my high- school coach.”

Wetta replaces Frank Ybarra, who stepped down after the 2020 season.

“The good thing is the kids at Horizon can look at me and say, `If my coach is asking me to do something, he did it himself and did it at the Division 1 level in college football,’” Wetta said. “I always looked at the coaches I played for a little different who played at a high level. I knew what they were asking me to do, they had done themselves. That’s what I feel like I can bring different to Horizon football.”

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