UNM to part ways with softball coach Congleton - Albuquerque Journal

UNM to part ways with softball coach Congleton

Just two months ago, things seemed to be looking up for coach Paula Congleton and her University of New Mexico softball program.

The Lobos, who had gone 47-131 in Congleton’s first four seasons, stood at 18-7 entering their Mountain West Conference schedule. It appeared a corner might have been turned.

But on Monday, after UNM finished 6-18 and last in Mountain West play, athletic director Eddie Nuñez announced that Congleton’s contract would not be renewed.

The Lobos finished 26-27 overall, by far their best record during Congleton’s tenure. But any progress the record represented was deemed too little and too late.

UNM softball coach Paula Congleton huddles with outfielder Peyton Robinson, left, during a game against New Mexico State. Congleton’s contract is not being renewed after five years at UNM.
Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal

“I appreciate the hard work that Paula put in over the past five years as head coach,” Nuñez said in a news release. “As an alum she has worked hard to help improve our facility and reconnect with past alumni, but in order to keep moving the program forward, a change in leadership is needed.”

Congleton leaves with a record of 73-158, 25-71 in Mountain West competition.

Her Albuquerque connections are many and deep.

A Highland High School graduate, Congleton starred in basketball as well as softball for the Hornets. She was a three-time All-American for the Lobos in the late 1970s-early ’80s under coach Susan Craig. She returned to Albuquerque in the summer of 2017 after a 20-year coaching career at Santa Barbara (California) City College. She was hired prior to Nuñez taking over as athletic director later that year.

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