KIRTLAND — In his second year at Kirtland Central High School, Kevin Graham is taking on even bigger responsibilities.
Graham, the varsity head coach for Kirtland Central football, was named the school's athletic director after Mike Walker left the position this summer.
"It has been my lifelong goal to be an athletic director and a head football coach. Now I just have to live up to it and do the job well," said Graham, who moved to Kirtland last summer from Lubbock, Texas. "It was the right circumstances at the right time, and I am glad the situation came about."
Graham replaces Walker, who was the athletic director for the Broncos for two years. Walker replaced Shawna Becenti, who currently serves as the school's principal.
"We were trying to decide who the next A.D. would be after Mr. Walker left. We selected someone with real good community skills," Becenti said of Graham's promotion. "He is very personable and a neutral thinker. I love his enthusiasm."
Graham began his coaching career in Plainview, Texas, and also coached in Shallowater, Texas. He has also spent time on coaching staffs in Lovington, Hobbs and Artesia before coming to Kirtland.
He knows juggling the athletic director's duties and leading the Kirtland Central varsity football program will be a taxing effort.
"It is a challenge, I can tell you that. I gotta be able to manage my time and work at it," he said. "It is a work in progress. I am fortunate to have people here at the school who help me out a ton. Without them, it would be a lot tougher. They are a great group who knows what they are doing and all the rules. Becenti is a great role model for me as an A.D. She is a very sharp lady."
Becenti said Graham is popular in the Kirtland community and was the right man for the job at the right time.
"He knows athletics and all the aspects of scheduling and the budget. I will still help him and serve as his mentor, but his knowledge of athletics will serve him well," she said.
Graham is focused on making the Broncos a winner on the football field this season and said the school is in good position to have a successful year in District 1-4A athletics.
"Our goal is for Kirtland Central to be the very best in every sport we have," he said.John Livingston can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.