Kirtland Central football coach Greg Jenks steps down after six seasons at helm

Greg Jenks cites mother's illness as reason for departure

Matt Hollinshead
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Greg Jenks saw how much his mother Luci has been struggling health wise, so he made one of the hardest decisions of his life by stepping down as Kirtland Central’s football coach.

“She’s been a widow (for a second time) six years now, she’s diabetic, she needs major back surgery… That absolutely was the deciding factor,” said Jenks, who coached the Broncos for the past six seasons. “Normally, I’d sit to plan the summer, and it just didn’t feel right.”

Jenks said he started contemplating his decision by mid-March after his sister Ginger told him that their mother, who resides in Pasco, Washington, wasn’t doing well. 

Jenks, who is originally from the Tri-Cities region of Washington, said he plans to continue his duties as a weight training teacher at KCHS but also is planning to spend more time with his mother.

Jenks posted a 33-25 record at Kirtland Central. Under Jenks, the Broncos made the playoffs in 2016, 2018 and 2019, and played in a New Mexico bowl game this spring.

“As a competitor, you want to win every game. I would’ve liked more playoff wins,” Jenks said, citing KC's 2018 playoff loss to Bloomfield as an example.

Although he’s proud of the progress that’s been made during his tenure with the Broncos, Jenks said there was unfinished work left to do with the program. He hasn’t ruled out returning to coaching in the future.

“I feel like I’m not done. I feel like I’ve got so much more to grow and learn as a coach. I feel like there’s more progress to be made out here… On the football side, it’s extremely difficult,” Jenks said, adding he felt he created an environment where everyone felt welcome on the team. “The coaching bug is still in me… I absolutely want to coach again one day… I hope I’m not done coaching.”

Jenks also said he likes path the program is on right now, especially if the core group of current assistant coaches stays put.

“I’ve had awesome assistants. That’s a big part of why it’s hard to walk away,” Jenks said.

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

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