Palmer pursues 200th W and life balance


By Gabriella Wiegand, Reporter

Feature Photo by Gabriella Wiegand

Coaching varsity basketball, teaching math, and having a home life can not be easy, but yet 38 year old, Shawn Palmer has balanced it all. Not only has he balanced it, but is thriving through it. He has received two Coach of the Year awards, 2008 and 2011, was named City of Aurora coach of the year in 2012, and has earned the respect of students and staff off and on the court.

Palmer was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was preceded by an older sister. He grew up in Colorado after his family of five moved here when he was in fourth grade. He went to Silver State High School in Lakewood. While attending there, Palmer played football, baseball, and basketball. He also coached basketball for seventh graders as a junior in high school.

Following graduation from Silver State he attended Northwestern College in Minnesota and majored in both Math and Bible. After his time at Northwestern he became a math teacher. Palmer spent his first year of teaching at Coon Rapids High School in Minnesota. After only one year there, he moved back to Colorado and got a job at Denver Street School. Palmer taught at Denver Street for two years and then came to Rangeview.

Palmer has worked at Rangeview for 14 years and has coached Varsity basketball all of those years except his first, when he coached JV. Since then, he has brought the Raiders to the Sweet Sixteen twice, last year and in 2012-2013, the Great Eight three times, in 2007-2008, 2010-2011, and in 2013-2014, and the Final Four once in 2011-2012.

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Palmer (center) makes adjustments in the huddle. Palmer has lead the Raiders to the top rank in state and has a chance to earn his 200th win against Regis tonight. (Sebastian Wiegand)

Junior Elijah Blake, who has played varsity all three years says, “As a coach, Palmer is by far one of the best coaches that I have ever had. He gives me confidence which is a big thing. He knows every player very well and knows how to make us as work as a unit. I trust him fully. I can’t say it enough that I appreciate him not only as a coach and a teacher, but as a person. Palmer is definitely a good role model to have.”  

Palmer, who became a Christian at age six, has ran FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) for the past ten years. As the sponsor of FCA, he presents many opportunities to help people who don’t have as much.  When asked if he is treated differently among his co-workers because of his religious views, he replied by saying:

“In education there are not a lot of conservative teachers, so you have to be okay with other teachers who have different views than you. With coaching, I try to focus on the relationships more than playing basketball.”

Palmer continues to make an impact in the lives of his players and students and strives to be the best role model he can be.

Palmer also has a chance to make a personal milestone tonight. He has an opportunity to earn his 200th win if the Raiders can manage a win against third ranked Regis Jesuit.  Palmer comes in leading the top ranked team in state.  The game will start at seven o’clock and will be held at Regis Jesuit.