19-year-old Jeff Gomer’s run to practice for the Ralston Vally High School girls’ basketball team ended in a loss on the Sweet 16 road to Cherry Creek on March 1.
“After 19 years, I felt like it was time,” said Gomer, who retired from full-time teaching at Ralston Valley three years ago. “There were days when it was difficult to get here. Once I was here I was fine.
The Mustangs women’s basketball program has been going well this season. Ralston Valley Finished as Class 5A Jeffco League Finalist for Fifth Consecutive Season with a 15-8 Record, Despite Only One Senior – Colorado School of Mines Hires Saya Sabus – on the team.
“We’ve got four starters coming back and a really good freshman class coming in and another good class behind them,” said Gomer, who added that he thinks it’s the best job women’s basketball has ever had. Jeffco. “The program should be in good shape. It’s in a good place for whoever is going to enter.
Gomer began his coaching career as a student teacher at Lakewood High School in 1980. He was an assistant boys coach for another legendary coach, Ron Rossi. After Rossi retired from Jeffco Public Schools in the early 2000s, he moved to Holy Family High School where he guided the Tigers to six women’s basketball titles.
Gomer made a stint at Durango High School before returning to Jeffco where he was the head women’s basketball coach at Standley Lake High School for 10 years. Gomer took over Ralston Valley’s women’s basketball program in the early 2000s.
“It’s a community team,” Gomer said of coaching at Ralston Valley for nearly two decades. “We got transfers that helped us, but for the most part they were good kids with good work ethics.”
According to CHSAA women’s basketball records last updated in March 2019, Gomer has won 422 as a coach and 302 in Ralston Valley. Gomer had 49 more wins in his last three seasons as Mustangs coach.
His final total wins would put him at 471 all-time and 351 at Ralston Valley. This places Gomer in the top 5 all-time wins as a women’s basketball coach at Colorado and all-time as a women’s basketball coach at a school.
Gomer has more wins than any other women’s basketball coach in Jeffco history. The closest is Bob Hicks who totals 325 victories in Pomona (1979-1998).
“I always felt like we were in the top 10 teams in the state,” Gomer said. “Every year we were competitive.”
Ralston Valley won five Class 5A Jeffco League titles during Gomer’s 19 years with the Mustangs. Ralston Valley won a streak of four conference titles in five years, from 2009 to 2013.
“In the first 14 years, we never had a player over 6 feet or a Division I player,” Gomer said. “Our best kid (Ashley Van Sickle) here when in the state of Montana. We had good players and luckily we had plenty of them to be able to compete.
Ralston Valley’s last league title came in 2017. The Mustangs made one appearance in the Final Four and several teams qualified for the Elite 8.
“The majority of years we got everything we could from our daughters,” Gomer said. “This year it was a great and fun group. It was a good way out. They were nice children. They got along well. I was able to leave with a good taste in my mouth.
Gomer left the door open for a return to training later.
“I could come back to that,” admitted Gomer. “If I did, it would be to build something. I can’t see myself getting back into it just yet, but when December rolls around…gaming is always fun.