FARMINGTON — Chad Kimball has been a student, a teacher and an assistant soccer and assistant track coach at Kirtland Central High School. Now, he'll try his hand at being head coach of the school's girls soccer team.
Second-year KCHS athletic director Cecil Linnens hired Kimball last week to succeed Leonel Camacho, who stepped down from the position earlier this year.
"(Chad's) been at Kirtland for a few years now, teaching and coaching," Linnens said. "I know he has been very well liked by the players and the parents."
For the past four years, Kimball has served as an assistant for the Lady Broncos soccer team, as well as for the Lady Broncos track team. He's been a teacher at Kirtland for five years.
Kirtland Central doesn't currently have a boys soccer team, but back in 2002 when it did, Kimball was a member of the Broncos team that finished second in the state behind the 4A champions, St. Pius X.
Kimball's well-rounded soccer background and his ties to the school made him an easy choice for head coach, Linnens said.
"He has knowledge of the game," Linnens said. "He's from Kirtland, he's invested in Kirtland. He's been here for a while, and, hopefully, he'll be here coaching soccer for a while longer."
Linnens said he's interested in seeing how Kimball's coaching style develops and how it differs Camacho's. Kimball himself doesn't expect too much to change.
"I hope to continue the work that he's done," Kimball said, referring to his predecessor. "I'd like to focus on playing with more intensity, and I'm going to focus on players' fitness. I might change the tactics up a little bit, but it's a little early to tell."
KCHS has gone 17-23-1 in the past two seasons after finishing 15-7 in 2012. Kimball has a good blend of seniors and underclassmen to work with as he tries to right the ship after a couple of down years.
"We have some really good, quality players returning," Kimball said. "I'm also excited about our younger talent. We have some really good freshmen, and even good eighth graders coming in as well."
Kirtland Central opens its season at home against Socorro on Sept. 12.