By Austin White
The Pueblo Chieftain
Nov. 12, 2018
One of Pueblo’s most dedicated sports representatives will have his name enshrined into the Greater Pueblo Sports Association’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Current Pueblo City Schools (D60) athletic director Rick Macias is one of eight honorees for the 2018 class.
“What a great honor to be inducted into that group of people,” Macias said. “It’s come with a lot of people helping me out, a lot of support. Since elementary school until now, people just helping me along and supporting me.”
A career in sports really all began for Macias in Pueblo. He was a cross-country star from East High School where he finished as the state runner-up twice and qualified for state in track as well.
Those achievements helped him earn a scholarship to the University of Southern Colorado where he became a four-time letter winner. Macias earned all-Conference honors twice in the 1,500m and is still a record holder today in the men’s 4x800m relay.
After college, he coached cross-country/track at Central High School where the Wildcats won a couple city titles and even saw a state champion in the girls 400m dash when Ronaleen Hancock won it in 2000.
For the past seven years, Macias has been at the helm for improving athletics for all of D60.
“When I first started into education I didn’t think I would be here,” Macias said. “I thought I was just going to be a teacher for 30 years and then retire. But as it went on, people encouraged me to go into administration.”
Macias was an integral part of bringing about renovations to Dutch Clark Stadium. Up first was his efforts in getting new turf for the field. He led the way in receiving a grant from the Denver Broncos Grassroots Community and received a matching grant in 2011.
The new turf was laid in 2012 and it was on the next big project at Dutch: the scoreboard. Macias used leftover grant money and sealed numerous sponsorships to help fund Colorado’s biggest high school scoreboard in 2015.
The system allowed for all kinds of new productions to be done like live broadcasts and instant replays. Those pieces are why South now has a media production program at the school where students get hands-on experience working with these types of systems.
“I’ve always been a team person and I don’t really like to take all of the honor for that, it was just a whole group of people working together to get things done,” Macias said. “When we first got the turf working with Dan DeRose and getting that grant with the NFL and then working with the Broncos to get that, it was all a team thing.”
Renovations for the wrestling programs in the city, scoreboards in gyms and countless other tasks have all been achieved under Macias. But one of his biggest tasks had an immediate impact on the field.
He helped implement a new concussion protocol at South in 2010 and expanded that to the rest of D60 in 2011. A year later, Colorado mandated an improved concussion protocol, putting Pueblo ahead of the game in the safety of its players.
“What a joy to be a district athletic director who’s been so fortunate to see so many state championships during my tenure,” Macias said. “That’s the goal of athletics is to be a state champion and it’s just been great to be a part of that.”
Pueblo has been well represented because of Macias’ work with CHSAA in numerous committees. Currently, he sits on the Handbook Committee, Classification and League Organization Committee and is on his second term as chairman of the Cross-Country Committee.
And of course, Macias thanked every single person who has been part of helping over the past seven years and now in 2018, including former D60 AD Robert Gonzales.
“Every day I go to work, I feel good about it, I don’t want to retire,” Macias said with a smile. “Now to be the guy in charge of this, I have to pinch myself every once in a while.
“It’s great to grow up in Pueblo and see all this change every year and try to make it better every year and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”