New AD brings coaching background to Denver
By Lindsey Corell

On August 1, Nate Skaar started his position as the new activities director for the Denver Community School District. Being new to the career, his coaching past has helped him be successful and has also helped him work through the challenges.

Originally from Albert Lea, Minnesota, Skaar has been involved with wrestling for most of his life. He has been a wrestling coach for both high schools and colleges in California, Wisconsin and Iowa.

In 1997, Skaar moved to California and was a high school wrestling coach and substitute teacher. From 2000 to 2004, Skaar was the first assistant wrestling coach at Upper Iowa University in Fayette. After the 2003-2004 season, Skaar moved and became the Head Wrestling Coach at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse. He was named the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Wrestling Coach of the Year and was also named the NCAA Division III National Rookie Wrestling Coach of the Year and the USA Amateur Wrestling News Magazine NCAA National Rookie Coach of the Year. From 2006 to 2011, Skaar was the Head Wrestling Coach at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls. After Ellsworth, Skaar worked at Hawkeye Community College as an Academic Advisor. During his time at Hawkeye, Skaar took a break from being a wrestling coach. He ended up returning to Upper Iowa University as a volunteer and part-time coach. He was hired as the assistant wrestling coach prior to the 2013-2014 season. In 2018, Skaar was promoted to the Associate Head Coach.

It was at Upper Iowa where he received his MA in Sports Administration.

The activities director position opened up in Denver and Skaar found it to be perfect timing. With home being just down the street it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

Some of Skaar’s duties as the activities director include scheduling events, lining up transportation and mentoring coaches.

“Nate has stepped into this role and has done a great job,” said Superintendent Brad Laures. “He has a variety of experiences that will benefit our district in this role.”

With the school seeing a lot of changes due to COVID-19, Skaar didn’t let it get in the way of starting his job out successfully.

“The biggest challenges with COVID was not knowing what the challenges are every single day,” said Skaar. “But everyone is going through the same stuff. So I know that I’m not alone because everyone is a rookie in COVID.”

Skaar stated he has had all positive experiences with the Denver administration since starting and looks forward to growing relationships and working together.

“I want us to be all on one page,” said Skaar. “I’ve been a coach for a long, long time. I want to run a team as the activities director. I want us all focused on the same horizon and rowing in the same direction together.”

Skaar has helped with the youth Denver wrestling program for a few years and hopes to continue while being the Head Wrestling Coach for Denver High School.

When not working or on the mat, Skaar enjoys playing guitar, golfing and spending time with his family. He and his wife, Nicki, have lived in Denver for seven years. They have a daughter, Lilah, who attends Georgia State University and a son, Luke, who is a second grader at Denver Elementary.

“I’ve been to lots of places and been part of a lot of administration teams,” said Skaar. “The team I’m working with at Denver is fantastic. Second to none in my opinion. A lot of good people. I’m really excited about the vibe here.”
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