While MSU Denver may not have an NCAA sanctioned football team, club football quarterback Michael Gatewood will be the first to tell you that football is alive and well for the Roadrunners.
“We’re live. We’re hitting. There’s some hits going on here, some highlight plays going on here,” Gatewood said.
Gatewood is a junior at MSU Denver and a captain on the football team. This season will be his second for the football program.
James Cobb, an MSU Denver alumnus, is the head coach for the newly minted National Club Football Association member club team. He has coaching experience at a multitude of levels.
“I coached in semi-pro and had a really unique opportunity to coach in arena football for a couple of years,” Cobb said. “I coached in high school for the better part of 18 years. I coached at Wheat Ridge, Green Mountain and Bear Creek. I won a state championship with Green Mountain in 1999, was a coach on that staff. I love football and I love being involved with it. It’s hard to imagine it not being in my life.”
Membership has its privileges, and the competition that MSU Denver will face in the NCFA features club teams from some premiere institutions across the nation.
“We’re playing Michigan State, their club team, UNC-Chapel Hill, we’re going to play all those club teams,” Gatewood said. “So the people who didn’t make the DI school or the practice squad, they play on the club team.”
Other teams in the NCFA include Ohio State University and the University of Michigan- Flint. What’s not to get lost in the club football program are the opportunities it provides student- athletes.
“It offers so many opportunities for so many people. We’ve got some guys that go off to the service and come back to Metro, so this is just a great opportunity for them to grow,” Cobb said.
Athletic Director Anthony Grant made it clear in a recent issue of The Metropolitan that the school is not pursuing an NCAA sanctioned football team. That being said, Cobb is optimistic about the football program’s chances moving forward, especially if MSU Denver alumni jump on board.
“Realistically, all you’ve got here is the School of Mines. Great school. Not everyone gets into the School of Mines. Metro is such a great school, it offers great opportunities for so many people,” Cobb said. “We’re hoping the alumni will start to take a look at it and say, ‘Yeah, football would be great at Metro.’”
Still need convincing to start attending games? Gatewood has you covered.
“If you like football, come on out and check us out,” Gatewood said. “Tailgate in the parking lot, come out and get rowdy. It’ll be fun.”
MSU Denver club football has also partnered with the Gin Mill for fundraising. Anyone who mentions the club football program when ordering drinks will have a portion of the proceeds go to the program.