Skyhawks football coach Bill McLaughlin steps down to be next Principal at Newcomb High

Matt Hollinshead,
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FARMINGTON — As much as Bill McLaughlin looked to bring continuity as Newcomb’s next football coach, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring continuity in an even larger role as the next Principal at Newcomb High.

“It was just something I thought was the right time to pursue,” McLaughlin said. “It kind of came down to what I felt would be best for me professionally.”

McLaughlin coached Newcomb’s offensive line, defensive line and running backs for two seasons before being named head coach in April.

McLaughlin replaces Jeff Sagor, who stepped down in mid-May to become Assistant Principal at Española Valley High School.

“His knowledge of the school and the system are a strength in these unsure times around what education will look like,” said Sagor, who spent the previous three years at Newcomb High. “He knows the families, and he knows the teachers… He’s somebody who has put a lot of time and energy how to make Newcomb a better school.”

McLaughlin, who held administrative roles at St. Michael Indian School and the Window Rock Unified School District in Arizona from 2015 to 2017, said he will still be Newcomb’s girls basketball coach.

“I really wanted to maintain that,” said McLaughlin, who enters his third season with the Lady Skyhawks.

McLaughlin said he will remain involved with Newcomb’s athletic department, and that he will also be a lead voice in the search for Newcomb’s next football coach.

For the time being, McLaughlin also said he will oversee the team until the school selects his successor.

McLaughlin said Newcomb can’t start summer training camp until at least July 6, due to the Navajo Nation’s curfew guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re aware what’s going on, that we’re going to have some conditioning after Fourth of July,” McLaughlin said.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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