Former Sailor volleyball player to be inducted into CHSAA Hall of Fame
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs High School graduate Katie Carter-Gutierrez has been one of the most prominent and successful athletes to come out of the Sailors volleyball program. On April 14, Carter-Gutierrez will be inducted into the Colorado High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
“It’s quite an honor. I’ve played all around the world up until now, and I’ve always remembered where I come from,” Carter-Gutierrez said.
Steamboat Springs head volleyball coach Wendy Hall, who recently achieved her 500th win, coached Carter-Gutierrez in the early 2000s.
“It’s pretty dang easy to talk about her because she is just exceptional in every way. She certainly was probably the best volleyball player to ever come through our program. She was part of probably the best team to ever play for Steamboat Springs High School as well, the ’02 team, that I felt was the best team in the state that year in 4A,” Hall said.
Following her senior season in 2002, in which the Sailors were state runners-up, she was named to the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post All-Colorado team. She was also named The Denver Post Player of the Year.
Upon graduation in 2003, she played for four years at UCLA and earned All-America honors as a Bruin under head coach Andy Banachowski.
“Great kid. Great player. Great attitude all the time,” Banachowski summarized. “She was always very upbeat. She was always a very powerful player. She continued to develop that. … She really loved the game. However many years later, she’s still playing.”
Carter-Gutierrez played for years overseas in Europe, most recently in France.
Now, she lives in Forth Worth, Texas, with her husband, who coaches beach volleyball at Texas Christian University, as well as her three month-old daughter. Carter-Gutierrez said she’d love to play again, but since there is no professional indoor league in the U.S., she would have to travel, which isn’t easy with a child.
With her career launched at Steamboat, Carter-Gutierrez continues to find time in her busy schedule every year to return to the small mountain town that raised her. For the past few summers, she’s held volleyball clinics for high school girls.
“She’s a really amazing mentor to a lot of girls, regardless of if they have the talent level that she had,” said Hall. “She talks about hard work, and she talks about being a good teammate, and she talks to them about always doing their best. She still has a lot of pride in our high school program here. I think that’s what separates her from a lot of really good past players, is the fact that she’s a contributor to this day, to our program.”
The program that Carter-Gutierrez gives back to, decided it was time to do something for the former Sailor. Hall said Steamboat grad and Denver University player Colleen King and current Regis volleyball player Anna Allsberry, as well as many others wrote letters to CHSAA to encourage Carter-Gutierrez’s induction.
“I finally zeroed in on what they were looking for, and they’re really trying to find out who she is as a person,” said Hall. “The letters that were written this year really talked about her character and her spirit and the type of person she was as a player, the type of person she’s been to them. I think that really resonated with the committee.”
Hall said they first nominated Carter-Gutierrez in 2017 and have added to her application over the past two years with more letters and contributions on her career and personal character.
Carter-Gutierrez is the third coach or athlete from Steamboat to be inducted and is the first female Sailor in the Hall of Fame.
“The community we have for young athletes is so unique,” Carter-Gutierrez said of Steamboat. “Me getting inducted and the career I’ve had is a testament to that.”
Other members of the CHSAA Hall of Fame class of 2019
- Jamie Carey won Miss Colorado Basketball in 1999, helping Horizon High School to three state playoffs. She played collegiately at Stanford University and Texas and is now the University of Texas’ associate head women’s basketball coach.
- Pete Falletta, a longtime athletic director at Pueblo School District.
- Andrea Meide Hooks graduated form Air Academy High School before playing soccer for Duke University where she earned All-America honors.
- Ben Montoya has been the head cross country and track coach at Fountain-Fort Carson High School since 1986 and has won coach of the year honors from USA Track and Field, CHSAA and The Denver Post.
- Scott Yates of Kent Denver School currently ranks second all time in football wins in Colorado.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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