The New Mexico Stars embarked on their second bus trip of the season Sunday morning, this time cutting across the length of Texas for a scheduled American Indoor Football game tonight against the Corpus Christi Fury.
Last week’s trip to El Paso turned out to be a waste.
When the Stars arrived for their game against the nonleague West Texas Renegades, New Mexico co-owner Tracy Duran discovered unplayable conditions.
“It was an outdoor field, the walls weren’t padded and the turf laid down on normal dirt, something YAFL might play on,” Duran said in a phone interview Saturday night.
Sunday’s journey, which began at 4 a.m., was scheduled to take 14 hours.
And, for the fourth time in the past 12 months, the Stars will be operating with a different head coach, this time with former Saints quarterback John Fourcade operating as field boss and offensive coordinator.
Just two weeks earlier, Fourcade, a veteran of the indoor game dating to the 1980s, was brought on board to help advise Duran on football operations. Fourcade emphatically said during a news conference March 24 he wanted no part of coaching.
So much for that.
“He fought and screamed at me,” Duran said of his decision to make Fourcade coach. “Basically, I had no choice. As my adviser, I advised him he was going to take over until we find a coach.”
For now, at least, Duran said he’s just concerned with getting through this weekend before commencing with any coaching search.
Carlos Cavanaugh, the third of the team’s coaches, had been on the job almost four months before the ejector seat lifted.
“(Duran) told me he didn’t need my assistance anymore,” Cavanaugh said Saturday night.
“I’ve been around for years, so I’ve got a couple of connections that I’ll reach out to.”
Duran said Cavanaugh violated team policy regarding travel when he opted not to ride the team bus from El Paso all the way back to the metro area.
“I don’t fire people, they break policies and fire themselves,” Duran said.
ABOUT THE FURY: Two quarterbacks on the Corpus Christi roster could be familiar to metro-area fans — Quincy Carter and Jeremy Denson.
Carter started 31 games for the Dallas Cowboys from 2001-03, having a 16-15 record.
Denson had a brief stay at the University of New Mexico as a junior college transfer before moving on to Florida A&M. He was the Lobos’ opening-day starter in 2000 before being replaced in Game 3.
NEXT HOME GAME: There’s been another change to the Stars’ home docket for Saturday.
Originally, New Mexico was to play the Abilene Warriors in an AIF game. But they folded. West Texas was then slotted to fill the void, but after last week’s fiasco, the Renegades have been replaced by the Austin Colts, who were admitted to the AIF only three days ago. Their coach is Adrian Perez, who was the second of New Mexico’s four head coaches this season before parting ways with the team.