Bert Borgmann, the longtime CHSAA assistant commissioner and a major influencer on Colorado preps, died Monday after complications from surgery. He was 67.
Borgmann worked for the association from 1988-2021, spending 33 years overseeing a variety of sports. His main sports were basketball and baseball, but Borgmann also ran football, gymnastics, softball, soccer, music, student leadership and founded the Hall of Fame during his time as a CHSAA executive.
An alum of Broomfield and Colorado State, Borgmann was a fixture at Colorado high school events for more than three decades. He started with CHSAA as a director of media and corporate partnerships, and former commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said Borgmann emerged as a “foundational pillar” while helping bring the association into the modern age.
“He started the whole media structure to keep the media connected to CHSAA and highlighting kids and teams,” said Blanford-Green, who worked with Borgmann for more than two decades. “He also created the corporate sponsorship initiative that allowed us to keep costs down for our schools and still provide high-end opportunities like with the state championship sites. That model was replicated across the country.
“His passion and loyalty to the organization and the membership is unmatched by any CHSAA commissioner.”
Borgmann’s primary passion was the Class 5A state baseball tournament, which he oversaw for a quarter-century. He was instrumental in getting the Colorado high school football championship games moved to the Broncos’ stadium. And he was also “the historian of Colorado high school sports,” as CHSAA’s former director of digital media Ryan Casey explained.
“He helped connect the past to the present, and the present to the past,” Casey said. “He understood why decisions had been made from a historical perspective, and why things could be tried. He definitely understood the impact high school sports have on kids, and communities. He made a point of visiting schools in rural communities whenever he could. He wanted the membership to know that the CHSAA office understood that the state extended beyond the metro area.”
Borgmann is the second influential CHSAA administrator to pass away recently. Tom Robinson, CHSAA’s first Black administrator and a preps pioneer himself, died in April 2022 at age 76 from multiple conditions, including colon cancer.
Funeral arrangements are still being finalized.
This story will be updated.