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THE SKIER SCRIBBLER

Ayodeji Macarthy, A New Face at AHS

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Coach Ayodeji “Mac” Macarthy is known for being pretty vocal on the sidelines of the J.V. basketball games. When his players get a steal or miss two foul shots in a row, Mac does not hold back.  The 6’1”, 235 pound former Division 1 linebacker can be spotted arguing with referees, or pacing up and down the sidelines passionately, nearly jumping out his skin as he coaxes his team to victory.  In addition to coaching  the J.V. basketball team, Mac, who originally hails from the south side of Chicago, is also working as an assistant physical therapist at Aspen Sports Medicine.  Mac is feeling very comfortable in his new home in the rockies.

Macarthy, whose parents were both born in Nigeria, grew up in Chicago with his two brothers and lived there throughout his high school years.  He was an athletic powerhouse at Merrillville High School, receiving an All Conference honorable mention selection during his senior football season.  After high school, Macarthy went on to play Division One football at both Portland State University and Indiana State, and also briefly played basketball for Harper College in Chicago.

Now acting as the AHS coach, Macarthy tries to implement the lessons he’s learned playing at a Division 1 level into his own coaching style.

“I try to encourage my players to be detailed in everything they do, both on and off the court,” said Macarthy. “And, to be informed and respectful.”

After performing on the field at a competitive level for so many years, Mac is excited to have a team of his own to help train and coach.

“It’s exciting for me to watch my players to work hard and progress their game just like I did.” Said Mac, “I see flashes of myself in each of the kids when I watch them progress and better their game.”

“It was really my parents and my brothers that inspired me to do well in everything I did,” said Macarthy. “My dad was always supportive and disciplined. He was at every one of my football and basketball games throughout high school.

Mac’s two brothers also competed at a division one level in football. His younger brother, Dolapo, is currently training for a spot in the NFL following his four year career at Purdue playing tight end. Mac, the middle brother, expressed that his siblings influenced him greatly as an athlete and as a person.

“My oldest brother taught me about sportsmanship and how to be classy in everything I did, whether it was a win or loss,” said Mac. “I really believe that he set a great example for me and my little brother as well.”

After graduation, McCarthy attended Indiana State University on a full-ride football scholarship, playing defensive end for their Division 1 program. However, early in his first year at Indiana, Macarthy decided that he wanted to try and pursue a competitive career in both basketball and football. He decided to move back to his hometown Chicago to attend Harper Junior College, where he participated in both sports.  That year, the Harper Junior College football team won a national championship, while the basketball team endured a losing season. After a year at Harper, Mac realized that football was the ideal choice for him, and transferred to Portland State University, which he attended from 2009 to 2011. At Portland,  Mac played linebacker for their Division 1 team.

After college, Mac lived in Oregon for two years. However, after visiting Aspen regularly, Macarthy eventually decided to make the move out to Colorado.

“I came out to visit my cousin and realized I had to move; I loved it,” McCarthy said. “I really liked Portland, but Aspen is definitely where it’s at for me.”

Macarthy’s cousin, James Aldridge, has lived in Aspen since 2010. Working as a personal trainer, acting as the assistant coach for the football team, and filling in as the strength and conditioning coach for many of the AHS sports teams, Aldridge has already solidified a reputation for himself in the AHS community in the four years he’s spent in Colorado.

Mac hopes to “lay low” in Aspen and enjoy the “mellow” atmosphere and abundantly accessible outdoors.

“Oregon is similar to Aspen in the way that it is really relaxed, “said Mac. “That was definitely another part of the appeal for me.  The people are friendly and there is so much to do in the outdoors.

Mac, who formally moved out to the Western Slope last summer, currently lives in Missouri Heights along with his two pit bulls, pet turtle, and his cat, Lena.

“I hike all the time with my dogs,” said Macarthy. “I like to hike up, and sled down on the snow. That’s one thing I couldn’t do back in Portland. Also, I skateboard and longboard, so I’m excited to try snowboarding once I get a chance.”

Although Ayodeji Macarthy is certainly not your average Aspenite, he is surely an exciting new addition to the Aspen community.

“I really like it here,” said Macarthy. “And I think I’ll stay for at least a minute.”

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