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

Texas A&M-Kingsville hires Portales native Madrid

 

June 2, 2019



KINGSVILLE, Texas — Michael Madrid avoided his midlife crisis while he was still in college.

Three years into his accounting studies at Eastern New Mexico University, the Portales native got a call from an old friend needing some help with junior high basketball.

“Scott Parker asked me to coach,’ Madrid said. “It was just a little bit of a stipend. I eventually changed my degree. I realized as hyperactive as I am, there’s no way I could sit behind a desk all day.”

His energy showed Thursday, as he was introduced as the new women’s basketball coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Madrid, a 1992 Portales High graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from ENMU in 1998 and 2001, heads east from his associate coach job at Texas-El Paso to become the 14th coach in the program’s history. He takes over after Wade Scott — also, coincidentally, an ENMU graduate — was not retained after five seasons.

“Excited does not even describe how I feel right now,” Madrid said to open his Thursday press conference. “Excited, blessed and thankful for this opportunity. It’s just a great place that we can recruit players to, and it’s just an incredible community that will buy into what we’re trying to build as a culture.”

Madrid got his first opportunity coaching women in 2005 as an assistant at Lubbock Christian, and he told The News he would “absolutely not” coach a men’s team again and was glad his first child, 2-year-old Ryan, was a girl.

“Boys know everything,” Madrid said, while somehow rolling his eyes with his voice. “These young women still want to learn, they still want to grow, and they don’t want to disappoint you.”

The Chaps went 120-48 in his five seasons on the bench, making the NAIA national tournament each season with two Elite Eight appearances and a national runnerup finish in 2006. After time as an assistant for Texas Woman’s, including the 2011 LSC championship, Madrid got junior college head coaching jobs at Paris Junior College and San Jacinto North before joining UTEP in 2017.

While Madrid enjoyed El Paso,numerous factors pushed him to Kingsville — the opportunity to be a head coach in Division II, the chance to work in the LSC again and a chance to be closer to his wife Sammie’s family.

He also noted the culture around the athletic program, including the softball team’s national runnerup finish.

“It feels like a strong togetherness, a family-type atmosphere,” Madrid said. “Like I said at my press conference, it already felt like I was on the staff, it already felt like home.”

Madrid thanked numerous people at his press conference, from his previous college stops to his mother and to Mark Gallegos for bringing him onto the Ram varsity basketball staff.

When Gallegos first took the boys basketball job at PHS, one of his few conditions was that Madrid be an assistant, based on interactions that included Madrid helping at basketball camps at Alamogordo.

Years later, as the athletic director at PHS, Gallegos isn’t surprised with Madrid’s rise.

“Michael’s an extremely hard-working guy,” Gallegos said. “I think his biggest trait is he has a unique understanding of the game of basketball. Also, he’s a people person. I knew he’d be successful in the college game because he could recruit.

“He saw things a lot of other people didn’t see. He’s just passionate about the game.”

During Wade’s tenure, there were struggles and bright spots. The Javelinas went 36-100 overall and 19-73 in Lone Star Conference play. The team made the LSC tournament as the No. 8 seed in two of the last three seasons, and in 2017 pulled the first 1-8 upset in tournament history over Eastern New Mexico.

After the school decided against retaining Wade, a national search was conducted. Steve Roach, the school’s executive director of athletics and campus recreation, said Madrid was chosen from a field with seven applicants getting phone interviews and three making on-campus visits.

“All of the candidates knew basketball and had great basketball minds,” Roach said. “That being said, Michael’s basketball mind was very strong, very on point. We think he’s going to run a great system here.”

Madrid said one of the first things he did after getting the job was to call the returning players, give them his contact information and get to know them personally without asking any basketball questions.

“First and foremost, (the goal is) just to build and cultivate a relationship with the remaining players,” Madrid said. “We try to instill our values and our belief system. Everybody knows this first year is going to be difficult, but it’s going to be about setting the non-negotiables, determining what kind of program we want to be.”

As far as recruiting goes, Madrid said he wants to coach the kind of girls he’d want his daughter to become.

Madrid’s homecoming is two seasons off, thanks to the realignment of the LSC. The 18-team league will be divided into three six-team divisions, with teams playing a22-game conference schedule with a home-and-home against their five division opponents and one rotating game against each of the other 12 teams. Kingsville will host Eastern New Mexico in 2019-20 and visit in 2020-21. Madrid is already putting the call out for anybody willing to bring him a Pat’s milkshake during the first media timeout — peanut butter chocolate.

 
 

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