something came up the past couple weeks that have caused me to take a look back. while i’m all about living in the present and moving forward, some scandal has broken from my old place of employment. it’s brought a bit of anxiety to me this week so i thought maybe writing a bit may ease the uneasiness of it all. so here we go…
dear lobo fans,
i wish i were writing this letter to assure you the athletic administration always had the best intentions of their student athletes in mind. but i can’t say that.
you may not know my name. or remember me. but i can tell you i was a part of one of the more successful teams at UNM. my time in Albuquerque and at UNM as a student athlete helped shape who I have become. Finishing my time as a top 25 D1 athlete only made me realize how much being on a team meant to me, and in turn helped me realize my passion for coaching. I ended up back at my alma mater 4 years later and couldn’t have been more excited to pour my heart and soul back into the Lobos.
my 3 years as a coach at UNM were 3 of the hardest years of my life. leading up to the hardest year i have had to date, and hopefully the hardest one I’ll ever have to speak of again.
what can i tell you about the leadership in athletics? they lacked leadership. they lacked morals. they lacked passion. i remember looking forward to monthly staff meetings just hoping to seep up any of the passion and talent that lied in those four walls of Tow Diehm. Just patiently waiting to hear one of the big coaches speak and learn his ways. i was enamored with the staff and just wanted to be better and be respected as a coach, not asked what year i was on the team.
so i did what any young, eager coach would do. i spent every hour devoted to my team. invested in being better, trying harder, working longer.
my girls quickly became my family, my world. i hated living in albuquerque but convinced myself day in and day out i was “living my dream.” after a year of no leadership and an embaressing season, i sent myself to coaching conferences. i made contacts and learned. i was a sponge. i wanted to know it all. i wanted to be the best. i wanted to recruit better and motivate more and figure out how to do it all, and i certainly wasn’t learning that at unm. i’d cry everytime i had to return to abq and reassured myself it was all part of life. and with the more i hated it, the more i latched on to becoming the best and creating a successful team.
i had no mentors. i had no advice. i had no leadership. but i had heart and passion and absolute love for all things lobos. and i had a moral compass. i became the “bad guy” in the coaching duo. the tough one. the one who made the team have consequences and run.
after 3 years, i couldn’t bite my tongue any more. i had butt heads in more ways than one with my boss and things weren’t moving forward. i, and many others, lost respect for the head coach. and before the season was over, he was fired. allowing me to wrap up the season as interim head coach.
what came next still boggles my mind and only speaks to a tiny bit on how the administration operated. i was lied to. i was manipulated. and i was destroyed.
an AD who no longer works at the school and was embezzling money (funny how that works), told me i “owed” it to my team as a coach as an alumni and as a member of the community to hand over EVERYTHING on my team. every detail. and it was imperative to the resigning of my contract. so i did what any naive young coach that had dreams of being a head coach would do…i gave them everything. Every detail i knew, it was written down in ten pages of notes on my girls…my family…the ins and outs of the young women i had so diligently gotten to know, i gave them the secret key to all of them.
a week later i was on vacation in Italy and received an email telling me my contract would not be resigned. i no longer worked at unm. they hired a new coach and she would not be taking me on.
i returned to UNM flabbergasted. i trusted no one. no one reached out to me. i was let go by a new hire, a coach who had not even been a college coach. let go by a school who i gave everything to. the following summer only got worst. i had luckily already lined up a summer of teaching camps at a fellow Mountain West School that treated me as good as one of their own, much better than i was ever treated at UNM. i spent the summer applying to every coaching gig under the sun. and i was doing well. but always coming in 2nd. we loved you but…it was between you and him but…UNM had black listed my name. UNM destroyed me. UNM took my dreams and made sure they no longer existed.
i couldn’t believe the school i was so in love with could do what they did. the months to follow were some of the worst i’ve ever experienced. now here’s where it makes sense for me. i selfishly have to thank UNM and Mr. Cass for the blessing in disguise because in my turmoil, i was on my way to slowly finding my true dream job. i currently live in a small town in California that is known to be the happiest place on earth with a total number of residences similar to the size of students at UNM. my new job and town has taken me in as a family member in a way UNM never could.
to hear all this crap unfold at UNM doesn’t surprise me. but it makes me sick. sick because i was too naive at the time to realize all the immoral, pathetic people walking around like their shit didn’t stink at south campus. sick because every person who mysteriously left clearly was involved in something illegal or some sort of embezzlement or violation. sick because i made sure to comply with EVERY rule while the administration was acting like assholes. sick because krebs cut one of the most successful teams at UNM but had no problem spending loads of cash on golf trips.
as an alumni and former coach, i want nothing to do with UNM. i used to wear my lobo gear with pride. now, i’ve given it all away or thrown it in the trash.
i pray someone with a backbone turns some things around…