Los Lunas High School head girls basketball coach Marty Zeller has resigned, athletic director Wilson Holland announced on Tuesday. 

Zeller stepped down from his position at Los Lunas in order to take the same position at Mescalero Apache High School. In addition to teaching physical education and coaching girls basketball, he will also coach the cross country program and hopes to help with golf as well. 

“This wasn’t something I was expecting to be doing at this point,” Zeller said. “It came up at the coaches clinic, I spoke with (Mescalero athletic director) Elmer Chavez, who was my athletic director at Grants. He mentioned that his PE job was open, it all happened in the last week.” 

Zeller informed LLHS principal Paul Carder of his decision on Monday, Aug. 2. 

“Los Lunas Schools would like to thank Coach Zeller for building and maintaining a championship girls basketball program during his tenure, Holland said. 

“Coach Zeller competed in the NMAA State Tournament every year he was the head coach at Los Lunas High School. Marty Zeller also coached golf and was an outstanding classroom teacher at Los Lunas High School. We wish Coach Zeller and his family the best of luck.”

Zeller has spent the last nine years at Los Lunas and led the Tigers to five state championships. The worst finish any LLHS girls basketball team had under Zeller was reaching the semi-finals, which happened twice. 

“A lot of credit for the success goes to my assistant coaches, especially Anne Salazar who was with me for all nine years,” Zeller said. “I have a lot of great memories with my girls, there’s a lot of love there. We built something really special.”

This move is one Zeller made with an eye towards the future and his eventual retirement. 

“When I first moved back to the states after coaching overseas, my wife and I were living in Roswell. She wasn’t sure about it until she saw the mountains in Ruidoso,” Zeller said. “This is really 21 years in the making.”

Originally, the opportunity to coach his daughter, Teige, was the thing that brought him to Los Lunas and together they kicked off their time at LLHS with a state title. 

“Being able to coach my daughter is one of the big things I’ll take with me from my time here,” Zeller said. “I heard of a lot of people at the coaches clinic the first couple years saying I wouldn’t want to do it anymore after my daughter graduated. Well, the year after she left we went 30-2.” 

Zeller began considering his next steps following the graduation of his youngest child, Zanen, in 2019. He said he was a finalist for an assistant coaching position at the University of Nevada Reno earlier this summer. 

“If the right college job comes up, that will be something I’ll have to consider,” Zeller said. 

Above all, Zeller said he wanted to thank Holland, who was the one who hired him to lead the program. 

“It’s been a great marriage between me and Los Lunas; this isn’t a divorce,” Zeller said. “We had a lot of success together and there are a lot of people that deserve credit for their role in that. We had great parents and a great booster club, which was good because we had to raise money for a lot of rings. It’s been magic.”

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Cameron Goeldner grew up in Boulder, Colo., and attended the University of New Mexico. He covers everything sports for all Valencia County schools.