Frhs coaching staff

Matt Johannsen - Head Coach

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Coach Johannsen is in his 26th year coaching and 20th as a head coach.  Johannsen has guided the SaberCat program since the 2004 inaugural season as well as teaching in the building.  In the 16 years at FRHS, the program has 6 appearances in the sweet 16, two elite 8's, a trip to the state finals in 13-14 season, and six Player Of The Year recipients.  In his career, coach Johannsen has earned conference coach of the year three times as well as being selected 5A Colorado coach of the year once.  

Johannsen has a Bachelor's Degree (Communications) from Ottawa University (Ottawa, KS), Master's Degree (Severe Affective Education) from Northern Colorado and post graduate work in Educational Leadership (Principal License) from Colorado State.  A product of Poudre School District who has lived in Fort Collins for 45 years, Johannsen's ties to the community run deep.  "I want to be part of making basketball in Northern Colorado better!"

Coaching Philosophy:  "Relationships are #1.  I learned how important that phrase is and how it applies in all phases of life when I was playing college.  I try to bring that same mentality to everything we do program wide - on and off the court." 

Mitch Ackelson - Varsity Assistant

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Coach Ackelson has been on the SaberCat coaching staff for 6 years.  He is a 2008 graduate of FRHS and helped to build the program from day 1.  During his career at Fossil Ridge, Ackelson was a two time first team all-conference selection as well as being named conference player of the year his senior year.  In his collegiate career he was selected NJCAA Region 9 all-conference his sophomore year as well as honorable mention all-conference his senior year at Mount Marty college.

Coach Ackelson holds a BA (Business Administration) from Mount Marty College where he also previously served as an assistant coach.  

Coaching Philosophy: "Do the little things and play with passion!"

Chris Hansen - Varsity Assistant

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Coach Hansen joins the coaching staff this season but he is no stranger to the program.  He is a 2011 graduate of FRHS and as a player for coach Johannsen, Hansen was All-conference, Front Range MVP/POY and 1st team all-Colorado.  During his collegiate career he continued to excel.  His freshman year he was selected to the NJCAA all Region 9 team followed by being selected a three time all Big Sky selection at Idaho State.  Hansen continued his basketball career playing professionally in Spain and was LEB Plata leading scorer in the 2017-2018 campaign.  Hansen also was a player/coach one year in Spain as well as an NCAA Graduate Assistant at Idaho State.    

Hansen holds both BA (Exercise Science) and MA (Athletic Administration) from Idaho State.   

Coaching Philosophy:  "Play hard, play together, but most importantly have fun!"

Luis Pedroza - Junior Varsity

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Coach Pedroza enters his 4th year on staff for the SaberCats.  He has coached the Junior SaberCat squads, D Team, C Team and now moves to JV head coach.  

During his high school career, coach Pedroza was selected team captain twice on two of the teams he played on.  

Pedroza is a graduate of Colorado State (Exercise Science).

Coaching Philosophy: "WE before ME.  Basketball is a platform that teaches us many life lessons."

Barry Bessert - C Team

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Coach Bessert is in his third season with the SaberCat program and is in his 25th overall.  In his previous coaching stops as a head coach his teams have appeared in two sweet 16's and one elite 8.  

Bessert was an all-conference performer in high school before moving on to play at and earn his degree from Monmouth College (Business Administration).  His Junior year, Monmouth was the Midwest Conference Champion and played in the NCAA tournament.  

Coaching Philosophy:  "Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals.  Defense is the foundation of any successful program."

Spencer Roesener - D Team

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Coach Roesener rejoins the SaberCats this season.  He is another FRHS ex-player and alumni as well as former assistant coach for 3 years here at Fossil Ridge.  

Roesener is a CSU graduate (Political Science/Criminal Justice) as well as a Fort Collins native. 

Coaching Philosophy:

”Pressure defense to fast break team basketball”