Five months after winning the school’s first state football championship, Manzano HIgh School finds itself without a head coach.
In a stunning development, Chad Adcox has resigned that position. He informed his team Thursday night as they received their rings, and the resignation became effective Friday.
“Today is brutally tough,” Adcox said Friday. “But I think for the long haul, this is the right decision.”
He compiled a 45-25 record in six seasons with Manzano, and his last victory was a 14-7 triumph over La Cueva in December’s Class 6A state final that completed a 13-0 campaign for the Monarchs.
The timing of the departure is unusual, insomuch as head coaches rarely resign this many months after the previous season has ended.
His reasons for leaving now, Adcox said, are two-fold. He said he has been experiencing health issues — nothing life threatening, he said — and said he has been too much of an absentee father to his 11-year-old son Jacob and his 9-year-old daughter Sienna.
“I’m 44, but I don’t want to be one of those guys who has a stroke in their 50s,” he said, “because I’m not taking care of myself.”
Adcox said he has been “neglecting” his health in recent years. “I’m starting to have a lot more issues,” he said, which in turn has impacted his coaching.
“The one thing I’ve always asked of my kids is that they give me a championship effort,” Adcox said. “The same needs to be said of me. If I can’t, then I need to step away.”
As for family, he said he has been missing too many important moments in his kids’ lives due to his coaching responsibilities, and it has been nagging at him.
Adcox joined Manzano’s football staff in 2003. He was Aaron Ocampo’s defensive coordinator when Ocampo resigned following the 2011 season to take over at Centennial. Adcox was hired in March 2012. a former triple-option quarterback in high school in Utah, he also was Manzano’s offensive coordinator from 2006-10.
The Monarchs consistently were one of the state’s top defensive units, most noticeably the last two seasons. Manzano was a state semifinalist in 2016.
“This is definitely the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “It’s very difficult to walk away and not feel like I’m leaving them (in a lurch). I can always come back and coach again, but I can never raise my kids again.”
Adcox will remain on staff as a teacher at Manzano, and said he would help his successor “any way I can. I’m leaving football as a coach, but I’m not leaving football.”