Sheff reaches 400 career wins

Dave Sheffield reached a milestone this past weekend.

The Yuma High School boys basketball coach earned his 400th win last Saturday in the Outlaws’ 58-49 win at Peyton.

“It means I haven’t quit and I haven’t died,” Sheffield cracked earlier this week.

Sheffield now has a 400-122 record in 23 years, a .766 winning percentage. His teams have won six state championships, three at Hi-Plains and three in Yuma. That ties him for fourth in the all-time list of Colorado basketball titles. He also led Hi-Plains to two 6-man football titles, and had three other state championship appearances at Hi-Plains, two in football and one in basketball.

Rudy Carey set the all-time state championship record at 10 last season at Denver East, also coaching Manual to several state titles. Ron Vlasin won nine at Merino (coaching Ken Shaw in those days), and also coached at Arapahoe, Denver Christian legend Dick Katte has eight state titles, and Sheffield is tied with former Faith Christian coach Andrew Hasz with six. Shaw is tied for sixth on the list with five.

Katte had all the all-time wins record with 876, while Carey surpassed that last season. Former Yuma coach Ken Shaw, who led Yuma to an undefeated championship in 1980-81, is well above 800 wins, and former Yuma coach Gary Childress recently finished his career with 530.

Sheffield, a Montana native, moved to Colorado early this century, coaching one year at Genoa-Hugo. He then went to Hi-Plains, where he had a great 12-year run. He is in his 10th season at YHS.

“I have had a lot of great groups come through,” Sheffield said. “I was really blessed with a lot of great kids and parents coming through, and it has been the same here at Yuma.”

He added that he also has been fortunate to have a steady stream of great assistant coaches through the years, and his family has provided a great support system.

Sheffield’s teams have averaged 17 wins over 23 seasons. At that rate, it will take another six seasons to reach 500, but it could be five years or shorter if his teams keep winning 20 or more as they have mostly in recent seasons.

“I have been really blessed,” Sheffield said.