Prep notes: Back to add AD duties at La Cueva; Medina takes Los Lunas coaching job - Albuquerque Journal

Prep notes: Back to add AD duties at La Cueva; Medina takes Los Lunas coaching job

La Cueva High School is changing the guard at the athletic director position, and the new AD’s name will be recognizable.

Brandon Back, who has been the head football coach for the Bears since 2013, is La Cueva’s new athletic director. He replaces the retiring LeeAnn Moores.

Back will likely officially step into the role at the start of July.

“Being part of a veteran staff and the number of veteran coaches we have made it appealing,” said Back, 45. “It was an opportunity to do something outside of the classroom.”

Back said he is going to continue to coach football at La Cueva this fall, but he was uncertain how the balancing act would play out.

“I don’t know, to be honest with you,” he said. “You don’t know what you don’t know. But I feel like I have a good, consistent staff on the football side of things.”

La Cueva has won 32 state championships and 90 district titles under Moores, 56.

“I feel fortunate that I was able to finish my career as an athletic director,” she said. “… Even though I am retiring, I still plan on being around the school and the sports I love. Once a Bear, always a Bear.”

MEDINA TIMES TWO: There was already one basketball coaching Medina in Valencia County; now there are two.

David Medina has been named new head girls basketball coach at Los Lunas High School. (Courtesy of David Medina)

On Sunday, Los Lunas High School announced that David Medina will become the Tigers’ new girls basketball coach.

Medina, 56, has previously coached the boys at Belen, plus spent 12 years coaching Del Norte’s girls and a single season coaching Hope Christian’s girls.

His daughter, Micaela, is Valencia’s head coach, just up the road from Los Lunas.

“I think when we play each other, we’re rivals,” he said. “I definitely don’t want to lose to Valencia when we play them. But every other game, I’ll be rooting for them.”

Medina takes over from Anne Salazar, who served on an interim basis last season; she herself replaced Marty Zeller, who led the Tigers to five state championships – and seven finals – from 2013-2020 before he left.

Los Lunas is coming off a 9-18 season.

“I’ve always thought this was a good job, even when I was coaching boys at Belen,” Medina said. “This is a mecca of girls basketball. And it’s still going now. Hopefully we can turn it back a little bit.”

GREAT SOUTHWEST: One of the country’s top junior track and field meets returns to Albuquerque later this week.

The Great Southwest meet runs Thursday through Saturday at the UNM complex. The first half of the boys decathlon and the girls heptathlon is Thursday; both conclude on Friday, and there also will be a small number of running events Friday, including the 4×200- and 4×800-meter relays.

The bulk of the program is to be held on Saturday, with all of the elite individual running finals.

ALL-STARS: The Class 1A-3A All-Star baseball series is Friday and Saturday at Cleveland High School. A single game Friday night is followed by a doubleheader on Saturday.

The Class 4A/5A series is the following weekend, June 9-10, at the Field of Dreams in Las Cruces.

• The Red vs. Green All-Star softball series is June 3-4, also at Cleveland. The first game is 7 p.m. Friday; a Saturday doubleheader begins at 11 a.m. Artesia’s RyLee Crandall, the Gatorade Player of the Year the past two years, is playing for the Red roster.

THIS AND THAT: La Cueva guard Eva Love has received her first two Division I offers, from New Mexico State and the University of San Diego, she announced on Twitter. The 5-foot-9 guard will be a junior next season for the Bears. … The son of former Highland High legend Bobby Newcombe has received a scholarship offer to play football for the University of New Mexico. Jeremiah Newcombe of Gilbert, Arizona, is a defensive back/wide receiver/athlete. Bobby Newcombe is the head coach at Casteel High, where his son plays. … Josh Griñe is the new athletic director at St. Michael’s; Griñe was most recently the AD at Belen. … Cleveland High’s outstanding shortstop, D.J. Sandoval, the player of the year in District 1-5A this year, has committed to Pima Community College in Arizona. … Former Sandia High basketball player Sean Johnson has officially joined the ABC Prep academy in Albuquerque, as the 6-foot-7 forward said he would once he finished his eligibiliity with the Matadors.

Home » From the newspaper » Prep notes: Back to add AD duties at La Cueva; Medina takes Los Lunas coaching job

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