Fort Collins hires alum, former CSU player Aki Palmer as new boys basketball coach

Aki Palmer (pictured here coaching club basketball in CSU’s Moby Arena) has been hired as the new Fort Collins High School boys basketball coach. He is an FCHS alumnus and former CSU basketball player.

Fort Collins High School has a new boys basketball coach and it’s a familiar one for longtime local hoops fans.

Lambkins’ alumnus and former Colorado State player Aki Palmer has been hired as the next FCHS boys coach, athletic director Kyle Tregoning said Tuesday.

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead the Fort Collins High School boys basketball program,” Palmer said. “Basketball has always been a significant part of my life and I am eager to share my knowledge and enthusiasm with the next generation of student-athletes at my alma mater.”

Palmer played at Fort Collins in the mid-1990s and was the program’s all-time assists leader. After a junior college stint, the point guard was a two-year starter at CSU from 1999-2001, averaging eight points and three assists per game.

He’s spent the past decade coaching club basketball in Northern Colorado and is also the executive director at Cushman & Wakefield in commercial real estate.

“His excitement to come back to his alma mater was just unbelievable,” Tregoning said. “He wants it to be a special place where players feel like they belong and want to be a part of it.”

One of Palmer’s two sons will also be entering Fort Collins High School this upcoming year.

Palmer takes over for Bruce Dick, who went 46-28 (with a 2023 Great 8 berth) in his three seasons, turning around a Lambkins program that was 24-60 the previous four seasons.

Fort Collins parted ways with Dick last month, citing a desire for a coach more involved in building all levels of Lambkins basketball, including the junior varsity and “C” teams.

“He checked all the boxes in the interview with what we were looking for,” Tregoning said of Palmer.

Fort Collins loses three of its top five scorers from this past season’s Class 6A playoff squad, including all-state second-teamer/leading 6A scorer Jayce King.