It is a challenge many New Mexico high schools are facing and Valencia County is not immune.
This spring, eight head coaching positions became available between Belen, Los Lunas and Valencia high schools, with assistant jobs open as well.
Belen High School is looking to fill head coaching positions in four sports; softball, swimming and diving, tennis and powerlifting.
Steven Contreras, Eagles’ athletic director, said, “All openings are due to coaches leaving for family or job responsibilities.”
According to Contreras most assistant coaches are returning. Contreras expected to hire a softball coach this week.
“We have our work cut out for us,” is how Wilson Holland, athletic coordinator for Los Lunas Schools put it.
That’s especially true for Valencia High School, where Holland is looking to hire head coaches in cheer, dance and softball, as well as four assistants.
“It’s a process, making sure to get the best coach for the position.”
A priority, according to Holland, will be to replace Amanda Chavez as coach of the cheer program, which is among the most successful in New Mexico. Holland says the search will be “meticulous.”
Holland must also lead the search for the Los Lunas High School tennis position, which opened last week.
“It’s no different than finding teachers,” Holland said. “We have so many positions available. It’s ridiculous—every year it gets harder.”
Head coaching positions available. Former coach in parenthesis.
Belen High School
Softball (Joe Duran)
Swimming/diving (Lin Onsae)
Tennis (Nick Rodriguez)
Powerlifting (Ryan Tafoya)
Valencia High School
Softball (Kayla Young)
Cheer (Amanda Chavez)
Dance (Leonardo Archibeque)
Los Lunas High School
Tennis (Kukutla Motlojoa)
Mike Powers spent more than 40 years as a television news and sports anchor, mostly in the Albuquerque market. He has won numerous awards including New Mexico Sportscaster of the Year. He covers a wide range of sports, including the Valencia County prep scene.