Prep notes: Longtime Cibola softball coach Victor to retire - Albuquerque Journal

Prep notes: Longtime Cibola softball coach Victor to retire

Gene Victor is shown from a file photo of a May 1, 1996 practice. The longtime Cibola High softball coach has announced his retirement. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

After 37 seasons, and three state championships, and having built Cibola High School into one of the most accomplished and respected softball programs in New Mexico, Gene Victor is retiring.

The 75-year-old announced his retirement this week. Cibola announced it officially Wednesday.

“I think it was just time. And age,” Victor said. “I couldn’t do the things I used to be able to do.”

Led by pitcher Missy Martinez – who died earlier this year – Cibola won state titles from 2007-2009. And the Cougars reached the state final in 2013. Victor won 575 games in his career on the West Side. His career mark is 575-316 with 22 postseason appearances, and he was named the National Coach of the Year for 2016-17.

“I felt like it wasn’t fair to the girls to not be able to do everything that I used to be able to do,” said Victor, one of the longest-tenured high school coaches in New Mexico.

Victor said he began thinking about retirement during this year’s preseason, and he had been hinting at it.

“It’s just been a lot of fun, a lot of highlights,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of special teams, and it’s been a great experience.”

Victor is a member of Cibola’s Hall of Fame and also the Albuquerque Baseball/Softball Hall of Fame.

He retired from his job with the Federal Aviation Administration about 10 years ago, where he worked throughout the first two-thirds of his coaching time at Cibola.

“We built a formidable program,” Victor said, reflecting on his years at Cibola. “I think it’s one that everyone respected.”

FULLERTON OUT: Clovis High is seeking a new head football coach after Cal Fullerton resigned last week.

Fullerton told the Eastern New Mexico News: “As a family we’ve had to make some hard decisions in the past two months and this one was hard as well. This was necessary for me and my family.”

Fullerton, who once played for the Wildcats, took over for Hall of Famer Eric Roanhaus before the 2017 season.

He compiled a record of 24-26 in his five seasons. The best of the five was taking Clovis to the Class 6A state semifinals in 2019, when the Wildcats were beaten by Cleveland.

SOCCER CAMP: A handful of coaches from prominent universities, including the men’s head coaches at Georgetown and Washington, will be running a high school boys camp June 6-8 at Rio Rancho High School.

Penn State, Notre Dame, Penn, UCF, Trinity College in Connecticut and UNLV also will have coaches on hand. Most of these same schools had representatives at an elite boys-only camp at Albuquerque Academy in January.

Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese, who played at Albuquerque Academy, will be here, as will former University of New Mexico assistant Jamie Clark, now Washington’s head coach. Former La Cueva and Notre Dame standout Jeff Rowland is an assistant with the Irish and he, too, is involved in running the camp. Other colleges are expected to send representatives to scout talent at the camp.

Those interested can register at Entry is being limited to 120 high school age boys.

8 GRADY’S CAMP: High school football players will have a chance to take part in the Elite 150 Combine on June 25.

New Mexico, New Mexico State, Western New Mexico, Eastern New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands, Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado, have all been invited to attend and scout. The combine runs 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the 8 Gradys facility in Albuquerque.

There will be testing in drills similar to those done by prospects at the NFL Combine. For information, visit There is also a middle school combine for seventh- and eighth-graders June 24.

THIS AND THAT: Sam Gavaldon, who was serving most recently as the head girls basketball coach at Cottonwood Classical Prep in Albuquerque, is the new girls basketball coach at Belen High School. … Nina Romero, a guard for La Cueva girls basketball team, has signed with Scottsdale (Arizona) Community College.

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