USAF ACADEMY – Scott Popelara fixture in the Colorado lacrosse community for more than 20 years, joins the Air Force lacrosse staff as a volunteer assistant coach in the 2023 season. Prior to joining the Academy, Popelar coached assistant and defensive coordinator for the Colorado College men’s lacrosse program since 2010.
“We are thrilled to welcome Scott and his wife Julie, along with their son and daughter Jared and Allison back to the USAFA to coach as part of the Air Force Lacrosse family,” said the head coach. Bill Wilson said. “While he brings a wealth of knowledge to all areas of the game, Scott is a true educator and mentor. We look forward to another journey together this season as the Cadet Wing returns in early August with the class of 2026 who will be fresh out of basic cadet training!”
In Popelar’s ten seasons with CC, the Tigers posted a combined 115-41 record, good for a 74% winning percentage. The defense limited opponents to an 8.04 goals-against average during that span, and the Tigers made seven NCAA Tournament appearances, while receiving national and regional All-American honors along the way.
Prior to joining the CC staff, Popelar served as an assistant coach at Kent Denver School, coaching close and middle defense while helping coordinate the team’s overall defense. He helped lead the Sun Devils to the Colorado State Championship in 2008, the state finals in 2011 and the semifinals in 2010, as well as the quarterfinals in 2009 and 2012. In 2007 , Popelar was an assistant coach at state champion Fort Collins Unified High. School. He was also the head coach at Air Academy High School from 2001 to 2005, reaching the state quarterfinals in 2001 and 2003. He was named Colorado Springs Gazette Coach of the Year in 2002.
Popelar’s college experience includes two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at the United States Air Force Academy (2000, 2006) and five seasons in the same role at Butler University (1994-1998). He spent the 1989-1993 seasons coaching at his alma mater, Worthington High School (Ohio).
In total, Popelar has over 30 years of coaching experience at the college and high school levels.
Popelar played at The Ohio State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (1988), as well as master’s and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering (1990, 1993).
He and his wife, Julie, have a son, Jared, a recent graduate of the Colorado School of Mines (2019), and a daughter, Allison, a recent graduate of the University of Tampa (2019).