To be in a small club of female athletic directors at Evergreen High School is a significant and historic milestone. But to hear Maddy Hornecker tell the story, it’s really not that big of a deal.
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
“I definitely think it’s pretty cool because (I’m) definitely in the minority group when it comes to athletic directors across the state,” she said. “It’s cool to start something and be in that small group of people. But it’s kind of like a yes-and-no answer. I think we’re all capable of doing a good job at being an athletic director. People just tend to think of sports as being a more male-dominated thing.”
Hornecker was always an avid basketball player and fan, and she still plays when she can.
“I’ve been involved with sports my whole life,” she said. “That’s really the focus of being an athletic director.”
Hornecker graduated from Ralston Valley High School in Arvada in 2012, where she played three years of varsity basketball, earning the titles of captain and team MVP in her senior season. After high school, she always wanted to get into athletics, and found her pathway by earning a degree in mathematics at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
“Halfway through that, I decided to do teaching,” she said. “I think math and education helped me get into the school system, and then it was just being really passionate about sports.”
Hornecker spent a summer coaching the middle school girls team at Eclipse Basketball in Kansas City and, in college, coached middle school at a local recreation center.
When Hornecker was hired as a math teacher at Evergreen in 2016, she became an assistant on the girls varsity program. Two years later, Hornecker was named the head coach.
“Having my voice heard, and just being able to advocate more for women’s sports is what I’m looking forward to the most,” Hornecker said, now that she is athletic director.
Not that Evergreen is lacking for success in its girls’ sports. In fact, in recent years they’ve dominated headlines.
“What’s cool at Evergreen is our female athletic programs have historically done very well,” Hornecker said. “Our girls swim team has won four state titles in a row. When I was a part of the girls basketball program, we won two state titles (2017, 2018). So, just to get more recognition for our female athletic programs is a big deal.”
Evergreen is consistently competitive in league play. The win-loss column isn’t an issue as much as garnering support for certain sports, like attendance at girls’ sporting events.
That’s something Hornecker has on her to-do list.
“Getting our students out to our female contests so that they get recognition that way is something to look at,” Hornecker said.
Being a part of gamedays, everyday practices, and just showing support by showing up is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the job, Hornecker said.
“The best part is being able to be a part of things that are really important to the kids,” Hornecker said. “Especially at Evergreen, they are all really good students. But they don’t love school as much as they love sports.”
It means a lot to show the kids that their leaders and teachers have a vested interest in their success not only in the classroom, but in their respective sports.
But it can be challenging as well. There are a lot of moving parts, and Hornecker is the puppeteer of it all. And it’s not just sports, but activities also, including choir, marching band and more.
“It’s kind of like a puzzle piece when you’re putting it together,” she said. “Evergreen is in a little bit of a unique situation because we’re so isolated compared to the other schools in Jefferson County. And so, making sure all the teams get their practice times, and their field times, and we can host games at our school, and everyone’s game schedules are working … It’s challenging, but it pays off because you’re making it so much better for the kids.”
To keep up with Evergreen High School’s sports this school year, search your interested sport(s) and schedule(s) at www.chsaanow.com. And to follow prep sports in Evergreen and around the metro area, subscribe to Colorado Community Media’s Sportsland newsletter here.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.