Just a season removed from winning a Class 3A state championship, Lamar girls basketball coach Erik Melgoza is moving on from the sidelines.
Melgoza will head west where he will become the new athletic director at Alamosa.
“That’s something I’ve been working on for a lot of years now," Melgoza said. "I’ve had my administrator’s license since 2004 and it just seems like a natural fit. I like coaching and running programs and now maybe I can help other coaches succeed.”
ANd Melgoza knows about success. He went 201-67 as the girls basketball coach at Lamar. He might be most notable for that, but he has spent countless hours on other sidelines. He has coached cross country, track, boys basketball and football at Lamar on top of what he did for the girls basketball program.
His coaching career hit a milestone in March 2017. He walked away with Tri-Peaks coach of the year honors and, more importantly, Lamar's first girls basketball title since 1998.
Moving on from a place where he has so much history will be difficult and there is one thing that he'll miss above all else.
“The kids," he said. "I’ve always said that I worked for the kids. The biggest thing is that I’ve had really good kids that have come through Lamar that I’ve had the privilege of coaching. Now that they’re out of school, we’re friends. They transform into kind of an equal in a sense. They’ll always call me coach and things like that, but I look at them in a different life circle; go to their weddings, things like that.”
Now he has new challenges ahead of him and new ways to make an impact on kids' lives. He moves on to take over the athletic department for the Mean Moose. This opportunity is going to allow him to get involved with more kids than just the ones playing for his teams.
"That’s what I look forward to," he said. "I look forward to diving into the aspects of other sports such as soccer and wrestling, things like that. Alamosa is a really good wrestling town. I think I can now impact a lot of kids in every sport and really promote the multi-sport athlete.”
As an athletic program, Alamosa has won 33 state championships. As the athletic director, Melgoza's mission will be to help coaches develop quality kids and hopefully add to that number.