Cory Archuleta steps down as baseball coach at Manitou Springs

Faith Christian Manitou Springs baseball

Cory Archuleta (far right) has stepped down as the baseball coach at Manitou Springs. (Matt Mathewes/MVPSportsPics.com)

The man who led Manitou Springs baseball to its best finish in 50 years is stepping aside.

Cory Archuleta has decided to relinquish his duties as head coach so he can focus more on his role as the football coach for the Mustangs.

“With being the head football coach and the time and the commitment that it takes, it’s a nice new challenge for me to just focus on football,” Archuleta said.

Archuleta was named the head coach in the summer of 2014 following the retirement of Rob Quarry. He had been an assistant under Quarry since 2006.

In his first season, he led the Mustangs to a 15-4 overall record. They earned a host seed for districts before being upset 2-1 by Basalt.

They weren't as successful the next year, but got hot right at the start of the playoffs. Manitou surprised many in their run at a state title. They fell just shy of that crown, falling to Faith Christian in the 2016 Class 3A state title game. Archuleta finished with a career 44-21 record.

Archuleta's best memories of coaching won't be those accomplishments, but rather the bodies on the field that made them possible.

“(I’ll always remember) the kids and the relationships,” he said. “The runs that we had and the good kids we had and the kids that played in college.”

Depending on where Manitou goes with the hiring of a new coach, Archuleta would not mind staying on staff to help with the transition and continue to be a part of a program that he's been involved in for 11 years.

“I’ll stick around and help the new coach if they want me,” Archuleta said. “I love baseball too much. I’ve played on the college level and I’ve coached for so long, it’s just something I love doing. I’ll do whatever I can to stick around and help anybody through the process.”

But his primary focus from here on out will be on the gridiron. Archuleta took over a team that had gone 5-14 over two seasons.

He helped the Mustangs rebound and go 6-4 in 2016. He notes that as a baseball guy for most of his life, trying to build on his early success as a football coach is a welcome challenge.