Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Donnie Garcia named Rattlers football coach


July 27, 2022

It’s time to usher in the Donnie Garcia era for Tucumcari High School football.

Garcia, a football coach at Tucumcari Middle School for 12 years and an assistant coach for the high-school football program for four years, was named head coach of the Rattlers gridiron team on Friday.

He succeeds Wayne Ferguson, who stepped down from the post in May after 10 seasons with a 26-71 record, including 1-9 last season. Ferguson will remain as athletic director through mid-2023, at which point he said he will retire.

In the past few years, Garcia helped coach the quarterbacks, running backs and linebackers as an assistant.

“I’m excited about getting the opportunity to coach these kids,” he said.

Garcia said he felt obligated to apply for the Rattlers head coaching position after Ferguson resigned.

“I didn’t want to leave the kids hanging,” Garcia said. “I thought if nobody else was interested, at least I’d put my name in.”

Superintendent Aaron McKinney said early last week at least two candidates were considered.

Garcia said he’s been encouraged by what he’s seen during weight-room and conditioning workouts before official practice sessions begin Aug. 1.

“We’ve had up to 32 kids at one time in the weight room, so that is a plus,” he said. “I’ve seen the excitement from them. As long as we get the kids to come out and participate, I think we can give it a whirl.”

Garcia wasn’t committal on what he has planned. One thing he knows for sure is his team will be young.

“I know of five seniors and a couple of juniors,” he said. “But I have a really strong freshman class, and we have some sophomores, too.

“They’re going to have to work as a team to complement each other. As long as they do that, I think they’ll be OK.”

Garcia said his coaching staff will be announced later.

“I think we’ll be really excited about the upcoming year,” he said. “There will be some changes to the program, and I hope the kids will buy in so that we have a successful season. The more the come out, they better I think we can do.

“I will do my best to help the kids succeed, keep them safe and keep them competitive.”


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