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Michael McKernan heads NM Stars new ownership group

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It’s been a wonderful past couple of days for the New Mexico Stars’ organization.

On Saturday in Odessa, Texas, the team defeated the West Texas Wildcatters 47-23 for its third consecutive Lone Star Football League victory.

Now the team has new ownership.

Michael McKernan – son of former Albuquerque Dukes president, GM and part owner Pat McKernan, who guided that franchise from 1979-2000 – revealed Tuesday he is the lead investor for the new ownership group, which is comprised of all locals, including Sam Rodriguez, who was in the previous administration.

“The days of Stars ownership changing is done,” McKernan said Tuesday afternoon in a phone interview. “We are going to continue to make this a real community-based program. We have the best management in the league, and I can see nothing but success in the future in the franchise the way the team has been put together.”

This is the Stars’ fourth ownership group in their three-year existence.

Playing a large part in McKernan’s decision to invest in the Rio Rancho-based pro team that plays its games at the Santa Ana Star Center was the work done by Albuquerque’s Orthrus Promotions in the front office after the league took over ownership of the Stars the week before the season.

“I wouldn’t have even considered this without Orthrus,” McKernan said. “I’m just so thankful to them. They’re just incredible.”

In the past offseason, McKernan said, he was brought on board with the Stars in an advisory role. And then, after the league took over the team the week before the season opener, he was tasked by the LSFL to look for new ownership.

After a lengthy search, it was the man in his mirror who won out.

“I just decided I was the best person to do it,” said McKernan, who also is involved with roller derby and boxing promotions in the metro area.

This also is good news for first-year coach Dominic Bramante.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “The McKernan name and Albuquerque, when it comes to the business of sports, go together.”

Bramante’s also realistic that the team won’t all of a sudden be staying at the most luxurious hotels and taking chartered flights to road games.

“We’ll still lead a humble existence,” he chuckled.

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