An awful start to the 2002-03 season cost Bob Hartley his job after almost five years behind the Avalanche bench, and young Tony Granato emerged in late December as both irritant and

inspiration for a veteran club that had grown listless and stale. Granato shifted Peter Forsberg from left wing to center (with brilliant results), helped transform big Scott Parker from goon to useful third-line grinder and dramatically improved the tone of the team dressing room. Almost to a man, the Avs praise Granato -- not long gone from the NHL ice himself -- for his patience, his game-day smarts and his belief in individual accountability. For the moment, the Avs are intent on catching Vancouver in the Northwest Division standings; after that, they've clearly got their eyes on a much larger prize. Paying attention, Detroit?

After surprising the doomsayers and starting the 2002 football season at a perfect 6-0, the Feisty Falcons lost a huge game at home to powerful Notre Dame. From there, the rest of the season went a bit south: Air Force finished 8-5, including a 20-13 loss to Virginia Tech in the San Francisco Bowl. But no one questioned the skills of head football coach Fisher DeBerry, who's been at the

academy for nineteen years. In that time, he's had just two losing seasons while racking up 150 wins -- almost all of them against bigger, stronger teams. A master of the complex wishbone offense, a Southern wit and a true believer in his no-frills, anti-glitz party line, DeBerry turns smart, disciplined, undersized players into winners, year after year. Only Joe Paterno (37 years at Penn State) and Bobby Bowden (27 years at Florida State) have been on the job longer, and DeBerry is every bit their equal.

After surprising the doomsayers and starting the 2002 football season at a perfect 6-0, the Feisty Falcons lost a huge game at home to powerful Notre Dame. From there, the rest of the season went a bit south: Air Force finished 8-5, including a 20-13 loss to Virginia Tech in the San Francisco Bowl. But no one questioned the skills of head football coach Fisher DeBerry, who's been at the

academy for nineteen years. In that time, he's had just two losing seasons while racking up 150 wins -- almost all of them against bigger, stronger teams. A master of the complex wishbone offense, a Southern wit and a true believer in his no-frills, anti-glitz party line, DeBerry turns smart, disciplined, undersized players into winners, year after year. Only Joe Paterno (37 years at Penn State) and Bobby Bowden (27 years at Florida State) have been on the job longer, and DeBerry is every bit their equal.


The two-time Stanley Cup champions have another shot at glory this year, thanks to a late-season surge in the Western Conference standings fueled by the play of Peter Forsberg and the return of team captain Joe Sakic. The great goalie Patrick Roy can see his sunset now, and a few of the defensemen are getting long in the tooth, but solid stars like Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay provide strength on a solid roster that's been carefully built by one of the most savvy executives in pro sports: Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix. In a city where the other three major sports franchises all have major problems to solve, the Avs remain a beacon of pride. Now, if the ordinary working person could just afford the price of a ticket -- or find one for sale.
The two-time Stanley Cup champions have another shot at glory this year, thanks to a late-season surge in the Western Conference standings fueled by the play of Peter Forsberg and the return of team captain Joe Sakic. The great goalie Patrick Roy can see his sunset now, and a few of the defensemen are getting long in the tooth, but solid stars like Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay provide strength on a solid roster that's been carefully built by one of the most savvy executives in pro sports: Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix. In a city where the other three major sports franchises all have major problems to solve, the Avs remain a beacon of pride. Now, if the ordinary working person could just afford the price of a ticket -- or find one for sale.


Under fiery coach Mike Dunlap, Metro State's unsung, largely unseen basketball team has become the duke of NCAA Division II hoops. Led by players from Australia (where Dunlap once coached a pro team), Belgium and Colorado, the Roadrunners have won two of the last three national championships. Despite losing five seniors to graduation last spring, this year's 28-5 club won another Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament title and narrowly missed returning to Division II's "Elite Eight" Tournament by losing a double-overtime thriller to Nebraska-Kearney on March 17.
Under fiery coach Mike Dunlap, Metro State's unsung, largely unseen basketball team has become the duke of NCAA Division II hoops. Led by players from Australia (where Dunlap once coached a pro team), Belgium and Colorado, the Roadrunners have won two of the last three national championships. Despite losing five seniors to graduation last spring, this year's 28-5 club won another Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament title and narrowly missed returning to Division II's "Elite Eight" Tournament by losing a double-overtime thriller to Nebraska-Kearney on March 17.


The DU Pioneers did not have the greatest year in their storied hockey history; their bitter rival, Colorado College, overshadowed them all season, and they failed to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. But senior forward Kevin Doell lit it up. The 5-11, 187-pound scoring machine led the Pi's in both goals and assists, and he scored two of the club's ten short-handed tallies. Doell, born and raised in hockey-rich Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, emerged as one of coach George Gwozdecky's most potent weapons last season, with 20 goals and 23 assists. This year, he has played in every game and became the 83rd player in Pioneer history to reach the 100-point mark, joining such DU legends as Dallas Gaume, George Morrison, Peter McNab and Jim Wiste.
The DU Pioneers did not have the greatest year in their storied hockey history; their bitter rival, Colorado College, overshadowed them all season, and they failed to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. But senior forward Kevin Doell lit it up. The 5-11, 187-pound scoring machine led the Pi's in both goals and assists, and he scored two of the club's ten short-handed tallies. Doell, born and raised in hockey-rich Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, emerged as one of coach George Gwozdecky's most potent weapons last season, with 20 goals and 23 assists. This year, he has played in every game and became the 83rd player in Pioneer history to reach the 100-point mark, joining such DU legends as Dallas Gaume, George Morrison, Peter McNab and Jim Wiste.


Last November 25, the University of Colorado's Jorge Torres became just the third American since 1987 to win the NCAA Cross Country Championship, edging away from Arkansas's Alistair Cragg in the final strides at Terre Haute, Indiana, and finishing in course-record time. The diminutive 5-7 distance runner from Wheeling, Illinois, went undefeated in his senior year and outdistanced a dozen highly touted international stars in his surprising NCAA title run. Jorge also defeated a CU teammate named Ed Torres, who finished tenth. Among other things, that represented a victory of experience over youth: Jorge Torres is, after all, ten minutes older than his twin brother.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of