The long-time Montrose High School coach, who spent a combined 100 seasons between four different sports, passed away Thursday at the age of 74.
Vic Kintz had previously coached track and field for Montrose for decades, but he stepped down at the end of the 2018 season due to complications of brain cancer. He had taught football, basketball, cross country and track and field — the latter sport he coached for 40 years.
Kintz lived by a motto that he used for coaching, teaching and his everyday life: “Be firm, be fair and be friendly.”
“He lived his life in that order,” Montrose cross country coach Brian Simpson said Friday.
Simpson added Kintz was firm in his beliefs in God and Jesus. And that same firmness could be seen out on the track as he expected “nothing but the best.”
Fairness was also seen in how he treated his athletes.
Kintz would use an equal amount of time to coach a kid regardless of his or her running ability, head track coach Kyle Miller said.
“He didn’t care if you were good or not, he was willing to work with you,” Miller said. “He didn’t just try and recruit the best kids. He took whoever he could get.”
Kintz also treated his students equally in regard to the program rules he put in place, Simpson said. If such a rule was broken, then the same punishment was given to the athlete.
“He despised when coaches or people had favorites,” Simpson said. “He said, ‘You have to treat people fairly across the board, regardless of who they were.’”
Last, but not least, was Kintz’s friendliness to those around him.
Simpson said Kintz loved to be around people which has shown by how long he coached and taught social studies at Montrose High School. He was also affable to other competitors and coaches out on the track.
“He wanted to make sure that people knew that he cared about them and wanted the best for them,” Simpson said.
Simpson had a relationship with Kintz that dates back to when Simpson first moved to Montrose around 30 years ago.
This occurred right before Simpson took over the cross country program in 1993. Once Simpson became in charged, Kintz helped the young coach learn what it takes to run a successful team.
“He was a very strong mentor for me,” Simpson said. “He was not afraid to challenge me. ... He helped me become a better coach and teacher along the way.
Miller also characterized Kintz as a mentor but as a second father figure.
“He taught me a ton of stuff,” Miller said. “He knew so much more information in each individual track event.”
He added Kintz early on took him aside and gave him few tips on how to run a program before stepping back watch the young coach work.
“He would help me along the way and gave me constructive feedback,” Miller said. “He was a great person to have.”
The Montrose track coach also said, outside of the sport, Kintz was “an extremely wonderful mand” in how he went through day-to-day life.
Most of Kintz’s time as a coach and educator was at Montrose High School. But he also spent time at Colorado high schools in Cañon City, Commerce City and La Junta. Additionally, he had a coaching stint in Kansas.
After a coaching career that started around 50 years ago, Kintz’s tenure came to close at the end of the 2018 track season.
Kintz previously said in a Feb. 24 article in the Montrose Daily Press, he decided to retire because he was diagnosed with brain cancer about three years ago and wanted to be cautious with his output.
He explained his doctors can’t do anything about the growing tumor even though they have tried to lessen it.
“I’d been having some problems and then they found the cancer,” Kintz had said back in February. “... There’s nothing they can do about it so I still have it.”
During his first year at MHS, Kintz took the helm of the boys basketball and track and field programs while also serving as a football assistant coach. He held the basketball and football jobs for 10 years before stepping down.
Kintz later became the cross country coach for eight years after the position became suddenly vacant. He said he had to take the coaching gig because it could have otherwise gone away.
After a decade as the head track coach, Kintz stepped down to an assistant coach role, a title he held until last year.
Those local athletes are thankful for having a coach that wasn’t afraid to be tough, Simpson and Miller both said.
“They loved every part of it and he got the results partly because he was tough but also because of that connection that he had with those kids,” Miller said.
“He demanded excellence. … He would challenge them. I mean, he challenged me,” Simpson added. “But for athletes and students alike, for the most part, loved him and his coaching style.
“When he gave you his effort as a coach or teacher, it was 100 percent all the time. Even when he got on you, you understood. He’s on you because he cares about you.”