The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Wildcat basketball position likely to be filled by next week

Athletic director candidates also interviewing


May 4, 2018

CLOVIS — Officials with Clovis Municipal Schools hope to have a new boys basketball coach in place by the end of next week.

A new athletic director may also be selected next week.

Five are set to interview Tuesday and Wednesday for the basketball coaching position, left vacant with the resignation of Scott Robinson.

Robinson resigned April 23, and Clovis Superintendent Jody Balch said the application process for his replacement closed Wednesday.

A part of the Clovis program since 2001, Robinson plans to stay with the district as a government and economics teacher. He first joined the Clovis program as an assistant to the late J.D. Isler and also served three years under Matt King before being elevated to the top position.

Robinson said resigning just came down to a shift in priorities.

“I started coaching in 1994,” he said. “I’ve given about 24 years of my life to it. I just reached the point where there were some other things that became hard to balance. I couldn’t dedicate the time it needs.”

Robinson took over a Wildcat program that missed the Class 5A playoff field in 2014. Clovis went 29-77 overall in Robinson’s four seasons, but made the playoff field each of the last two seasons.

When asked for his favorite memory with the program, Robinson said there were too many to narrow down and the biggest positives were the relationships he made over the years. The biggest difference between being an assistant and head coach, he said, came down to administrative duties.

“Being an assistant, you can turn it off,” Robinson said. “As a head coach, it’s something you can never turn off. There’s something happening all the time.”

Interviews for Robinson’s successor will take place Tuesday and Wednesday with Balch and his administrative cabinet — Carrie Bunce, Kerry Parker, Shawna Russell and Joe Strickland — plus CHS Principal Jay Brady and volleyball coach Ruth Chavez.

The applicants scheduled for interviews, listed alphabetically:

• Lonnie Baca, an assistant on Robinson’s staff

• Jaden Isler, girls basketball coach at Elida and the son of J.D. Isler.

• Corey Pickett, a former CHS assistant and the current boys coach at Clovis Christian

• Daniel Trujillo, former boys coach at Taos High School

• James Voight, Gallup boys coach and former Dexter coach

“We’re looking for a coach that can take a look at where we’ve been, how we grow and how we get better,” Balch said.

Two key components, Balch said, will be how the coach can establish a relationship with kids and how the coach would approach the youth program that generally has 600 to 700 kids, and best use it as a feeder system for the Wildcats basketball program.

The district is also interviewing three athletic director candidates. The person chosen would succeed Interim AD Dale Fullerton, who is scheduled to stay on board through May 24. Those applicants are:

• Keith Durham, CHS girls track coach and former Texico athletic director

• Loran Hill, Yucca Middle School principal

• Robert Mata, athletic director for Mesa Vista Consolidated Schools.


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