Football coaching staff gone

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Some parents have been told that the entire coaching staff for the Socorro Warriors football team was fired.

Interim Athletic Director Charlie Savedra said the coaches either resigned or are just “not coming back next year.”

Head coach Cody Lee indicated that he did not resign, but is being replaced.

“I did not resign,” Coach Lee said via text earlier this month. “They decided to look for someone else. I was told they were concerned with the safety of the program. The job is open.”

Lee was not able to explain what, specifically, was the safety concern.

Either way, the exodus of the entire coaching staff could be another set-back for the Warriors football team, come 2014 season.

When Coach Lee was interviewed at the beginning of the season, he said 2013 would be a “building year” for the team. He felt the team had a lot of young, inexperienced players, and that they were behind on their conditioning and training.

“I took this on to help out Coach (Damien) O’Campo,” Lee said of the 2013 season. “Once he was out for the season, it was hard to coach without someone at the high school full-time.”

Lee teaches at the middle school, and coaches track.

Lee and his staff had already begun training with the team for the 2014 season and was working on team building efforts, as of the middle of November.

On Nov. 28, El Defensor Chieftain reported on the coaches’ plans for training and development for the 2014 season. Lee was enthusiastic about the goals set for individual players and the team as a whole, and pleased with attendance at weight training. Players were being put on a points system for getting good grades, participating in other sports, and points for each workout.

Defensive coordinator Chuck Zimmerly was a volunteer. Lee said he is not sure, but doesn’t believe that Zimmerly is returning for the 2014 season. It is also unclear whether or not Scotty Crespin, who coached the offensive line, or trainer Mike Armijo will return in 2014. The assistant coaches were not available for comment.

Changes and disruptions in coaching staff seem to be a theme at the high school this year, after Athletic Director O’Campo started with fall training, but then was suddenly absent from the school and unavailable to comment on athletic related activities, following an injury late this summer that has apparently kept O’Campo out of work for the entire school year thus far. No information has been made available about his absence, beyond informal information regarding an electrical-related injury. He has been replaced on an interim basis by Charlie Savedra. Savedra said he is mostly managing game-day activities and schedules, and is not involved in personnel matters.

Cross-country coach Steven Montoya was suspended from coaching during the state finals, after a disciplinary incident occurred on the activity bus during the return trip from the district championship meet in Silver City in early November. The coach was apparently only suspended for the state meet, and will be coaching the team again next year.

The Lady Warriors have lost their head coach and assistant coach for volleyball, when Joni Mauldin and her husband, J.B. resigned just after the close of the season. Mauldin said she hated to resign, but felt it was necessary because she wasn’t able to spend the time needed in both her classroom and on the court with the team.

“It was just too stressful,” Mauldin said. “I’m really going to miss it.”

Savedra said because these are personnel matters, Superintendent Randall Earwood, who handles human resource matters, is the only person who can comment on the situation with the football coaching staff. Associate Superintendent Antone Salome also said that he is unable to speak to the issue. Principal Jennifer Molina has not returned calls as of press time.

Earwood has also been unavailable to confirm the status of the football coaching staff for the 2014 season. Whether or not the goals set and plan implemented by Coach Lee and his team is still being employed is uncertain.

“I think most of the boys are still lifting and training,” Lee said. “A few have slacked off, but I think most of them are still committed.”