FARMINGTON — The Kirtland Central baseball team will be under new direction when the season picks up in the spring.
KC recently named Danny Secrest, who has spent several years as a head coach and assistant for programs at Farmington High, as the Broncos’ new head coach.
Matt Jopek, the athletic director at KC, said key factors in the decision to hire Secrest were his record of building strong relationships with his players and a familiarity with baseball in the Four Corners.
“We looked at that, as the interview committee, as an advantage and strength of coach Secrest,” Jopek said of Secrest’s familiarity with the Four Corners. “He is from the area, and he actually played ball at the junior college level, so he has that going for him. He just had all the right attributes.”
Most recently, Secrest served as the head coach of the girls basketball program at FHS, leading the team from 2012-13 through 2015-16. He also served as an assistant with the FHS baseball team over the past 19 years.
“The crazy thing is, I just love coaching. I love being around the kids and being and sharing success with them. It’s wonderful to be coaching, and it’s really because of my love for the game,” Secrest said.
As a player, Secrest won state titles at Farmington and played college baseball at the University of the Southwest in Hobbs.
From his time as a player for Tom McLamore to coaching with Don Lorett and Sean Trotter at Farmington, Secrest said he learned countless lessons and hopes to build the program at KC using the foundation that has made Farmington so successful.
Secrest takes over for Bryan Wardroup, who resigned during the summer and accepted a head coaching position in Ranger, Texas, to be closer to his family.
Wardroup led KC for two seasons, and improved from an 8-16 record in 2015 to 16-12 and reaching the state tournament last season. The winning record last season was the first for the Broncos in more than eight years.
Secrest will be tasked with the continued growth of the program. Part of his plan is to be active in the Kirtland youth leagues and hopefully get enough players in the program to start a C team.
“I’m really excited about it. It’s one town, one high school, and it can be successful,” Secrest said. “Hopefully, the youth organization will come out and want to be a part of it. I’d like to start something at the youth levels and have them emulate what where trying to do at the high school level. That’s something that I’m really going to push for — to get involved in the youth programs and try to build a great program.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.