February 2022

KENT DENVER SCHOOL

PERSPECTIVE

February 2022
Issue 2
Fall 2021
Issue 1
Winter 2021

Feature Story

Thank You, Coaches, Kent Denver Honors Three Legends

2021 marked the final season for three legendary Kent Denver coaches: Kathy James, Arty Smith and Scott Yates. All three brought great success to the Sun Devils, not just on the field, but off—instilling character and strong leadership in generations of student-athletes. Kent Denver is extremely thankful to Coach James, Coach Smith and Coach Yates for their contributions to this school, and we are glad to have had the chance to celebrate each of them this fall. 

Alumni Pay Tribute to Scott Yates 
Yates coached his final football game with Kent Denver in early November after more than 40 years leading the Sun Devils. In that span, he won three state championships in five state title game appearances. He also made it to 13 semifinals with 33 trips to the state playoffs, and he is recognized as the winningest 11-man high school football coach in Colorado history with 335 wins. 

To kick off 2021 Alumni Homecoming Weekend, current and former players, fellow coaches, parents, friends, family and staff came together on campus to celebrate Coach Yates in a special tribute

A transformational coach and mentor for four decades, the night of celebration demonstrated the full scope of the positive impact he has had on the KDS community. Former players had the opportunity to come to the podium and share their favorite memories with Coach Yates, and some even recognized the impact he had on their own kids more than 20 years later.

The night ended with Yates taking the microphone and thanking all those who have contributed to his successful career. 

“I’m forever grateful,” Yates told those in attendance. “I know this deal is about the Yates family, but I think this thing is more about a great community. I could not have ever hoped for anything better in a life than this life I’ve had the opportunity to live, and it’s because of all of you.” 


Arty Smith Recognized at Halftime of Homecoming Soccer Game

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The day after the Scott Yates tribute event, Arty Smith was recognized in front of students, parents and alumni at halftime of the soccer team’s Homecoming game against Prospect Ridge. 

Smith—who stepped down from his coaching position in May to have more time to devote to his family and his innovative work as a national thought-leader in math teaching and curriculum development—led the Sun Devils’ program for 20 years. 

In that span, he won five state championships—all in an incredible six-year run from 2014 through 2019—finishing with an overall record of 253-47-22 for Kent Denver. More importantly, for two decades he helped student-athletes become devoted to sportsmanship, teamwork, effort and finding joy in competition. 

During the halftime celebration, Associate Director of Athletics Richard Judd read several glowing remarks from staff and former players—touching on Smith’s compassion, kind character and strong leadership as a coach and mentor. 

While he’s no longer coaching, Mr. Smith remains a vital member of the Kent Denver community as a math teacher, advisor and parent of two KDS students. 


Marking a Quarter Century with Coach Kathy James
After the Sun Devils’ final field hockey home game of the regular season, Athletics Director Jeff Hollway presented Coach Kathy James with a commemorative plaque honoring her 25 years of coaching at Kent Denver School. 

“Over the past 25 years, Coach James established an unmatched tradition of success in Colorado field hockey. She holds the most championship titles and the most wins of any coach in the state's history, and her leadership has helped make Kent Denver one of the nation's most outstanding field hockey programs,” Mr. Hollway wrote. “Coach James has been a pioneer for field hockey at Kent Denver, leading the charge for CHSAA to keep Field Hockey as a sanctioned sport for now and many years to come—all while also serving on the NFHS Field Hockey committee on a national level.” 

Following the season, which included an appearance in the CHSAA state semifinals, Coach James announced to her team that she would be stepping down as Kent Denver’s coach. Thank you Coach James for all you have contributed to athletics at KDS!

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