Tucumcari High School wrestling coach Eddie Encinias was recently named wrestling Coach of the Year for class A -AAA by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association.
Encinias said he was surprised by the news.
“I called up some of the other wrestling coaches around the state and asked them how this had come about,” he said.
Encinias had already departed from the state tournament when the coaches there voted him to be Coach of the Year. Encinias said the coaches told him that they saw a certain toughness in Tucumcari wrestlers.
“They told me that they noticed that my wrestlers always fought hard during every match,” said Encinias. “They also mentioned that several of my wrestlers were champions in past years.”
Encinias received the coveted award after only three years as a head coach.
Encinias credited his faith and his wrestlers.
“This is the best award I’ve ever received. God has a purpose for everything,” said Encinias. I haven’t yet figured out why God rewarded me like this. I know that my wrestlers deserve credit for this award. They did everything I asked of them, and I am a demanding coach.”
To bolster his contention that he is a demanding coach, Encinias said he spends a lot of time on conditioning his athletes.
“My wrestlers run at least 16 minutes every practice,” said Encinias. We hit the weights really hard, and the wrestlers are always dropping for pushups.”
Encinias gave credit to school administrators like principal Gary Salazar and Athletic DIrector Wayne Ferguson for their support of the wrestling program.
“Wayne Ferguson is a coach’s A.D. He has helped our team out with everything I’ve asked.”
Tucumcari principal Gary Salazar said the coaching award is a boon for the school.
“Not only is it a great honor for coach Encinias, but it’s going to be good for our wrestling program,” said Salazar. “It’s always good when you can say that your coach has won Coach of the Year.”
Tucumcari wrestlers were quick to congratulate Coach Encinias.
“The wrestlers were really happy for me,” said Encinias. “We are like a family. We practically live together for two months of the year.”
One key to Coach Encinias’ success may be a sign that hangs in his office . The sign reads: “To demand more of yourself than others is the first step on the ladder of success.”