SHIPROCK — Shiprock High School will again search for a new football coach, as Michael Switch will not return after one season at the helm.
Switch, who is also a history teacher at the school, said today the Central Consolidated School District's officials told him they did not feel he was the right person to continue leading the football team and wanted to go in a different direction.
"They were a great bunch of kids. I know they were used to the previous coach that was there. Sometimes, changes are somewhat difficult. But they were able to overcome that and do very well for us in football this year," Switch said. "I do want to give thanks to the administration staff for allowing me the opportunity to become the head football coach this year at Shiprock."
Switch, who said he will return for his third season as an assistant baseball coach with the Chieftains, previously served as the co-offensive coordinator at Millwood High School in Oklahoma City from 2001 to 2005. He was also Farmington’s girls basketball coach from 2010 to 2013.
Shiprock lost its first six games and went 2-8 during the 2018 season. The offense struggled, scoring just 114 total points. The Chieftains were shut out in five of their 10 games.
"It was challenging, for sure. With the numbers we had, I appreciate the players that did come out. We were trying to still find the right chemistry and the right personnel to be put in certain spots," Switch said. "It was a learning process for every one of us."
The Chieftains will search for their fourth coach since 2014. Two of their last three coaches, Jimmy Snyder and Switch, were one and done.
CCSD athletic director Ben Tensay said he's unsure whether that recent trend will end with the next coach. However, Tensay added that starting the coaching search now as opposed to in April or May will help ensure that he casts a wider net for quality candidates.
Tensay said the job is open to New Mexico residents, but he will consider out-of-state candidates who apply. Tensay said he will look at those with head coaching experience, as well as assistant coaches looking to move up the ladder.
Tensay said the interview process will get underway after the basketball season ends. He looks to make a decision by April.
The position is posted online at ccsdnm.org.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-565-4577.