Los Lunas’ loss is Artesia’s gain.
In a quick-moving series of events early Monday morning, Jeremy Maupin resigned as Los Lunas High School’s head football coach, and then was quickly announced as the new coach at his alma mater, Artesia.
Maupin, 34, is a 2005 Artesia graduate. He was a Bulldogs assistant coach when Los Lunas hired him in February of 2017 for his first shot at being a head coach.
Now he’s going home.
“It’s an opportunity I don’t think you can pass up,” Maupin said.
Rex Henderson resigned earlier this month after five seasons coaching the Bulldogs, including a state title in 2017.
Maupin had coached three seasons in Artesia under legendary head coach Cooper Henderson, then coached with Rex Henderson in the 2016 season. Maupin applied to be Artesia’s head coach after Cooper Henderson retired following the 2015 season.
In Los Lunas, the Tigers under Maupin emerged as one of New Mexico’s legitimate football powers — regardless of classification —during his four seasons in Valencia County.
“There is definitely a lot of interest here in Artesia as far as what he’s done up there,” said Cooper Henderson, now Artesia’s athletic director. “There are quite a few people excited about him coming back.”
Los Lunas was 30-10 under Maupin, reaching the Class 5A state final in both 2018 and 2019, where they lost both years to Roswell. The Tigers were 3-0 this spring.
“They gave me the keys to the kingdom here and I’ll always be grateful for that,” Maupin said. “We were doing a lot of really good things here in Los Lunas; it was hard to tell the kids today.”
The lure of returning home, Maupin said, was simply too powerful to resist, especially when it’s arguably New Mexico’s most prestigious coaching position doing the luring. Plus, Maupin still has many family members living in Artesia.
“You always dream about it,” he said, adding, “To get to lead that program, man, I’m humbled, honored, and I’m really excited about the opportunity.”
The expectations, Maupin said, come with this particular territory.
“There’s pressure,” he said. “There’s pressure to win, there’s pressure to win a lot … there is pressure to compete for a state championship every year. I look forward to that.”
Los Lunas already has commenced a search for Maupin’s replacement, and the Tigers are expected to have a new coach by about the second week in May, district AD Wilson Holland said.
BELEN: After two seasons, Ty House last Friday resigned as Belen’s head football coach. The Eagles hope to conduct candidate interviews either late next week or early the following week, athletic director Steve Contreras said.