“It’s just such a huge loss, you can’t describe it,” that’s what Jim Owsiany says about the death of Park County Sheriff’s Office deputy Nathan Carrigan.
Carrigan was killed in the line of duty whilecompleting an eviction in February. His memorial service is Monday.
“Nate was a huge member of the community, Owsiany said.
Owsiany, better known as Coach O in Park County, not only coached Nathan in high school, he worked with Nate when Nathan came back to coach at Platte Canyon High School.
“He was an incredible person. He always looked out for little guy, always took time for people,” Owsiany said. “He wasn’t one of these people with a Do Not Disturb sign. If you needed to talk to him, he was available. He was always willing to help, to pitch in and help even when he did not have the time."
Nate spent all 12 years of his school career in the Platte Canyon School District.
“Nate was the kind of guy, when he played at high school, he was fierce competitor,” Owsiany said. “[Nate was] one of the best athletes ever at the high school.”
Nathan earned 12 varsity letters. Owsiany said Nathan was an all-state football player, captain on the football team, an all-state wrestler and won honors in baseball.
“It was an outstanding feat,” Owsiany said. “He was an outstanding athlete.”
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Nate went off to college, but when that didn’t work out he came back to the community.
“He worked his way into sheriff’s department,” Owsiany said. “He also worked his way into the high school and the coaching staff.”
By that time, Owsiany wasn’t just Coach O anymore, he was athletic director.
“We hired him and he was nothing but a great asset,” Owsiany said. “He started with football staff first. A couple years after that, he started helping with baseball. Then he was head coach of the baseball team.”
“He was a valuable member of the staff at the high school,” Owsiany said.
“He [Nate] was a giant of a person,” Owsiany said. “He was just a genuine person.”
While Owsiany obviously enjoys talking about Nate, he also feels the pain of Nathan’s sudden death.
“Nate did his job. He did everything I would expect him to do, “ Owsiany said. “Nathan was heroic, which is absolutely what you’d expect Nathan to be.”
“It’s an incredible loss,” Owsiany said. “The whole community is just shook. The players on the football, baseball teams and the staffs are devastated. Everywhere, hearts are broken."
The memorial service for Nate Carrigan will be Monday (March 14) at Faith Bible Chapel. Carrigan's family is creating the Nate Carrigan Scholarship Fund to help children pay for college.
Governor Hickenlooper has ordered flags on all public buildings to be lowered statewide in Carrigan's memory.