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New Mexico Coaching Carousel: Who's NextJoshua Grine, covers basketball for NMPreps.com; He can be reached at (505) 414-4313 or email@example.com
This off-season we didn't see the spark and excitement of most years in the past with any coaching changes. Unless, we can count the Richard Martinez-OUT-then-IN at Espanola Valley story (leave the man alone and let him coach).
However, one "big" job (Manzano High School) was opened this off-season but then we hear it's only a temporary move (more to come).
We didn't see the top jobs like last season when Hobbs, Clovis and others opened but we still have a few intriguing destinations open (Valencia, Lovington, Portales, & Pecos) .
Here is our list of reviews and rumors
***RUMOR OPEN** Alamogordo High SchoolAlamogordo, NM | Class: 5A
Out: John Madden Reported let go
New Coach: OPEN
Skinny/Rumors: A source has let NMPreps.com know that Alamogordo High School will let go of head coach John Madden. The Tigers who have failed to make the State Tournament the past two seasons will look to go in a different direction. Leading candidates at this point would point to JD Isler the former Clovis High School assistant coach. Another name that surfaced with interest is Albert Aragon the former Los Lunas High School head coach. More to come when it becomes official.
Manzano High SchoolAlbuquerque, NM | Class: 5A
Out: Travis Julian
New Coach: David Gibson (Former Manzano Assistant)
Skinny/Rumors: This was the biggest and most shocking news this off-season then we had to throw an astrick with the OPEN because of the rumors. First, the job was opened to everyone with a April 9th, deadline. Then, it was told that they would promote assistant coach David Gibson as its permanent head coach. Last, we hear that former head coach Travis Julian will only be out for one season and then back as head coach in the 2013-2014 season.
***April 13th, 2012***
Manzano has made the official decision to hire David Gibson as it's next head coach to replace former head coach Travis Julian. Gibson has been an assistant coach to former head coach Travis Julian who stepped down as head coach earlier this month. Gibson, who's stock went rocketed after taking over for Julian during his suspension quickly became a school favorite and also a top assistant.
Hire Grade: Withdraw Pass/Fail
Centennial High SchoolLas Cruces, NM | Class: 4A
New Coach: Steve Heredia (Former Chaparral Head Coach)
Skinny/Rumors: Another new school will open it's doors for the 2012-2013 season and they have made its first step in building basketball program. The pool of applicants was rich with current/former Manzano head coach Travis Julian who took the Monarchs to the 2011 State championship were they eventually lost. Also, in the pool was former Hobbs head coach Russ Gilmore who won 5-State Championships as the Eagles head coach. Whatever the case the hiring committee went with the former Chaparral head coach.
Hire Grade: C
Chaparral High SchoolChaparral, NM | Class: 4A
Out: Steve Heredia (Hired as Centennial HC)
New Coach: Fernando Hernandez (Former Chaparral Assistant)
Skinny/Rumors:A few candidates that could get the nod, Fernando Hernandez, Salvador Montelongo (C-Team), and Jesus Aragon (JV) who all were on the staff last season. One big name the athletic director should be calling and begging to become the next head coach is Santa Teresa assistant coach Whelton Rochardson who just helped the Desert Warriors win the 2012 4A State Championship. Making that hire would make the smartest and best move "so far" this off-season.
Like expected Chaparral has hired longtime Lobos (Chaparral) assistant coach as it's next head coach. The hire is a very popular one around the program.
Hire Grade: B
Del Norte High SchoolAlbuquerque, NM | Class: 4A
Out: Gerome Espinosa (Resigned)
New Coach: Ryan Noce (Former Highland assistant coach)
Skinny/Rumors: Has not been confirmed by the school yet but source have said that Espinosa told his players that he has stepped down from the post. Espinosa led the Knights to the finals in 2006 falling to the eventual champ St. Pius X. This will be a great job next season with top talent returning including a pair of newcomers that could have the Knights as a top 4A team. No early candidates yet but like when Espinosa was hired you could see several APS assistant coaches after this job. Right now the name tossed in for several APS jobs is former West Mesa assistant and current Laguna-Acoma head coach Ryan Piel who led the Skyhawks to a 1-seed and a 23-1 season. Also you could pull names off Top Assistant Coach: Jake Herrin (Volcano Vista), who is also in the running for the Los Lunas opening.
**April 24th: Del Norte has official posted the job on the aps.edu website.
**May 22nd** It's been rumored that former Highland High and Sandia Prep assistant coach Ryan Noce will be named the new head coach at Del Norte High School.
Hire Grade: In progress
Grants High SchoolGrants, NM | Class: 4A
Out: Marty Zeller (Hired as LLHS girls HC)
New Coach: OPEN
Skinny/Rumors: NMPreps.com has learned that Grants head coach Marty Zeller has taken the job to become the new Los Lunas girls head coach. Several coaches have given some interest with the current Grants opening but would rather keep their names quiet until it is officially posted and talks become more serious. Grants plays in the power district of 6-4A and is a top job in 4A. The Pirates will have a young team next season but have several intriguing 2014 players.
Hire Grade: In progress
Los Lunas High SchoolLos Lunas, NM | Class: 4A
Out: Albert Aragon (Resigned)
New Coach: Travis Julian (Former Manzano Head coach)
Skinny/Rumors: The first candidate to come to mind as a front runner and clear favorite is Jake Herrin who has spent the last four years as an assistant at Volcano Vista under head coach Greg Brown. Herrin is one of the top assistants around the state for a few years and also spent three years as an assistant at Los Lunas before his stop at VVHS. Another former Los Lunas assistant who has had success as an assistant in APS is George Waquie who was on the Atrisco Heritage Academy 2012 Final Four team. One name that several people shouldn't be surprised to see as a front runner is current/former Manzano head coach Travis Julian who is still a Los Lunas resident with big connections to the area. Another rising name is Eric Orell, current head coach at Bosque Prep in Albuqueruque who in one season found great success with Bosque but also is known for his years as an assistant at Manzano High School. Other names who you should keep an eye on, Joey Sais (Los Lunas assistant), Jesse Hathoot (Los Lunas assistant), Ryan Piel (Laguna-Acoma) and Ryan Noce (Highland High assistant).
***April 25th***: Source have let NMPreps.com know that Los Lunas High School will interview four candidates for it's head coach opening. Travis Julian (former Manzano HC), Jake Herrin (Volcano Vista assistant), Joey Sais (Los Lunas Assistant) and Ryan Noce (Highland assistant). Tiger faithful has several different opinions and the common two names that they like are Jake Herrin and Joey Sais. Herrin is one o the hottest names in upcoming coaches and would be the smart choice.
***May 15th***: Kyle Henderson has learned that Los Lunas has named the former Manzano head coach Travis Julian as it's next boy's head basketball coach.
Hire Grade: A-
Valencia High SchoolLos Lunas, NM | Class: 4A
Out: Dominic Romero (Resigned)
New Coach: Ezau Rios (Former Atrisco Heritage Academy Assistant Coach)
Skinny/Rumors: This job could be one of the more interesting of openings this off-season. Valencia a new high school that has only had it's doors open for four seasons and looks very enticing. The Jaguars reached the State Tournament in three of those first four years as well. Los Lunas Public Schools like others is almost impossible to figure out candidates.
NMPreps.com has learned that four candidates were interviewed for the job on Tuesday, April 11th. Russ Gilmore the former Hobbs head coach who lead the Eagles to 5 State Championship was interviewed, along with Santa Fe Indian Athletic Director Tom Shields, Ezau Rios (Atrisco Heritage Assistant) and Geno Storey (Valencia Assistant). The Jaguars could name later this week or early next week.
NMPreps.com has learned that Ezau Rios has been named the Jaguars second head coach in program history. Rios was apart of the 2011 Final Four team at Atrisco Heritage as an assistant coach. Rio is also a former head coach at Coronado High School
Hire Grade: B-
***NEW Piedra Vista High SchoolFarmington, NM | Class: 4A
Out: Brian Shock (Became assistant coach at Cliff High School)
Skinny/Rumors: With a big surprise PV head coach Brian Shock stepped down as coach. He took an assistant coaching job at 1A power Cliff High School, where some say he has become the head coach in waiting under his father legendary head coach Pete Shock.
Hire Grade: In Progress
Lovington High SchoolLovington, NM | Class: 3A
Out: Stephen Bridgforth (Resigned)
New Coach: Chris Brattain (Former Lovington Girls Head Coach
Skinny/Rumors: With a surprising open Lovington High School has become one of the top openings this off-season. The school is known for it's many football state championships but the school is loaded with athletes and could become one of the sought after destinations for coaches. The first name that came to mind for this opening was it's former head coach Vince Homer. Homer who has been at Tatum the past two seasons initially left Lovington in 2001 for 5A Rio Rancho High School.
***April 24th***:Lovington has made Chris Brattain it's next head boys basketball coach. Brattain who lead the Lady Wildcats of Lovington to the 2012 State Championship in his first season become one of the top names out there. Wildcats couldn't have made a better hire.
Hire Grade: A
Portales High SchoolPortales, NM | Class: 3A
Out: Mark Gallegoes (Resigned)
New Coach: Rickie McBroom (Former Portales Assistant HC)
Skinny/Rumors: The Rams didn't have to look far to find a replacement for longtime head coach Mark Gallegoes. In fact, they made a quick hire and promoted longtime assistant Rickie McBroom as head coach. McBroom who is said to be a former head coach at one point will inherit a talented team with some depth in the frontcourt to make some noise in the three team district. McBroom will be one of two new head coaches in the District with rival Lovington High School also searching for a new head coach.
Hire Grade: B
Santa Fe Indian SchoolSanta Fe, NM | Class: 3A
Out: Jonathan Haack (Fired)
New Coach: Zack Cole (Former Northern New Mexico College assistant and Capital HS assistant)
Skinny/Rumors: Last off-season when this job opened up the candidates flooded in under it's former AD. After the disaster of last season this job has some big scares to it. Also, I hear from several people that current AD Tom Shields wants the job. How true that is, only time will tell but the former Miyamura head coach who was let go after only one season wants back into coaching.
**May 22nd** Former Capital High school and more recently Northern New Mexico College assistant coach Zack Cole has been hired to take over the Braves program.
Hire Grade: A
Bloomfield High SchoolBloomfield, NM | Class: 3A
Out: Steve Scott (Retired)
New Coach: Devon Manning (Former Bloomfield Assistant Coach)
Skinny/Rumors: Longtime New Mexico head coach Steve Scott who has won over 600 games and also has three state championships on his resume decide to call it quits this off-season. Bloomfield is making the transition to 3A, from 4A, for the 2012-2013 season has already made it's hire. The Bobcats promoted assistant coach Devon Manning making the 28 or 29 one of the youngest coaches in the State of New Mexico. Manning is a prefect hire and Bloomfield is heading in the right direction.
Grade Hire: A+
**NEW**Robertson High SchoolLas Vegas, NM | Class: 3A
Out: David Bustos (Fired)
New Coach: OPEN
Skinny/Rumors: Robertson High School has opened all of it's coaching positions including the boy's job which comes to a shock to the state. Bustos who has easily become the most successful coach in recent years took the Cardinals to the 2012 Final Four upsetting the No. 3 team.
Hire Grade: In Progress
Pecos High SchoolPecos, NM | Class: 2A
Out: Clyde Sanchez (Fired)
New Coach: Russ Gilmore (Former Hobbs Head coach)
Skinny/Rumors: On any other given season this job wouldn't be as highlighted as it is this off-season. The Panthers who reached the Elite Eight last season have all of it's weapons coming back in 2012-2013 making them one of the 2A Final Four favorites. A few names were given to me when this job opened up but no solid candidates to date. Some name i've heard are Richard Apodaca the St. Michael's assistant who helped the Horsemen win the 3A State Championship. A few other names that were brought up as rumors are Ben Gomez the former Capital head coach who won the 2004 state title and also Jonathan Haack (former Santa Fe Indian HC)
***April 25th***: The candidates were named at Pecos and shocking most people Russ Gilmore (Former Hobbs head coach) applied and is one candidate. The favorite in this though has to be Frank Ortiz (former Santa Rosa head coach) who knows the 2A ranks and did wonders at Santa Rosa building a basketball power. The other names were Tom Shields (SFIS Athletic Director) who last coached for Miyamura in 2010-2011 before being let go after one season. The final candidate is Jonathan Haack (former SFIS HC) who was let go last season after 10 games.
Pecos has named former Hobbs Head coach Russ Gilmore as it's next boy's basketball head coach. Gilmore was the head coach at Hobbs from 1999-2011, were he led the Eagles to 5 State Titles.
Hire Grade: B+
(2A) Hatch Valley High School - HIRED MADE
(2A) Navajo Prep School -OPEN
(1B) Grady High School - OPEN
See all the off-season coaching carousel news here:
Joshua Grine, covers basketball for NMPreps.com. He can be reached at (505) 414-4313 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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