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West Mesa selects football coach

Five years ago, Anthony Ansotigue thought he was ready.

He interviewed to be Cibola High School’s head football coach, thought this was his time.

“I was ready and prepared for it,” he said. “But I wasn’t prepared as I thought.”

He was a better interview, he said, when he sat down to talk about Highland’s vacancy last year. The school picked one of their own instead.

But this time, everything aligned perfectly, as West Mesa High School on Friday named the 34-year-old Ansotigue as its new head football coach.

Ansotigue is a former two-time assistant at Cibola, plus had coaching stints with La Cueva and Eldorado before this career bump on Friday.

“Since I took the job at La Cueva (when Ed Lucero was the head coach), I wanted to be a head coach,” Ansotigue, a Del Norte High and New Mexico Highlands graduate, said. “We (Eldorado) played them the first round of the playoffs last year, and I was impressed by their kids, the way they carried themselves. I knew (former coach) Ron (McMath), and I talked to him a couple of times about it, and he felt they could be successful going forward.”

The Mustangs are coming off their first playoff bid since 2010. McMath retired after the season.

Ansotigue has been an assistant with Charlie Dotson at Eldorado the last four seasons. He had been coaching the linebackers, which was the position he used to play.

Ansotigue will inherit a tough assignment, since West Mesa is being shifted into brutal District 1-6A next fall, along with Atrisco Heritage, Cleveland, Rio Rancho, Volcano Vista and Cibola.

“But,” he said, “this is a lot better job than it was a few years ago. Even though things get more complicated with the new district, I feel they can be successful.”

Ansotigue is the second new coach in the metro area this week, after Valencia hired Miyamura’s Wes Shank on Monday.

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