Rattlers name new football coach

Chelle Delaney

Daniel Hutchins, 38, of Chaparral has been named the new football coach at Tucumcari High School.

For the past three years, Hutchins has been the Lobos’ varsity basketball coach, and assistant varsity football coach at Chaparral High School.
Hutchins will meet with other Rattler coaches and the team Monday evening, he said.

“Football is the love of my life,” said Hutchins.

The Rattlers “have a good team and a good program,” Hutchins said, “and when I’ve mentioned that I’m going to Tucumcari, people say to me that they have good athletes and good kids.”

Last season, the Lobos played against Tucumcari and took a 14-0 defeat.

Prior to joining Chaparral, Hutchins was at Immanuel Christian in El Paso.

During his recent interview process, Hutchins said he felt that he had a good rapport with Superintendent Aaron McKinney and Athletic Director Wayne Ferguson.

“He’s very enthusiastic,” Ferguson said. “He’s someone who can breathe new life into the program. He’s also someone who has been at a larger school and that’s what we were looking for. He’s got great morals and he’s an upstanding person who will be good for the program.”
Hutchins comes from a 4A school which has a high school with an enrollment of about 1,100 students, compared to Tucumcari which is a 2A school and has an enrollment of about 260 students in high school, he said.

Hutchins grew up in Farwell, Texas, and graduated in 1987 from Farwell High School.

“ I grew up in a small town of about a 1,000. My family’s still there and I understand small town living.”

Hutchins succeeds Rattler coach Dub Smith, who was head coach for 10 years and retired from teaching this year.

He’s probably one of very few coaches with a music degree to boot. In high school he played offensive lineman, and said he had several offers from colleges.

“But I was 18-19-years-old, I wanted to be a rock star,” Hutchins said. “I played music for five or six years touring around. I played with AFK, and opened for bands like Huey Lewis and recorded with Warner Bros.”

A saxophone player since he was 10 years old, Hutchins said he can play several wind instruments, the piano and the guitar.
He enrolled at West Texas University at Canyon, where he studied vocal performance. He graduated in 1992, and is now certified to teach in physical education and performing arts.

He is also working on a master’s degree in technology from the University of Texas at El Paso.

He and his wife, Darla, have three children, Alex, 17, Abby, 13 and Tommy 10.

On Aug. 11, the Rattlers will start two-a-day practices, but Hutchins plans to hold a mini-camp before the end of July for the team.

Hutchins hopes to contribute to a team “that people will be excited about, and they will be proud that they represent the school and the city. And I hope everyone will come out and watch the team play.”