Texico chooses Durham

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

Keith Durham, a volunteer assistant on Clovis High’s 2004-05 Class 5A girls state championship basketball team, has been hired as the girls basketball coach at Texico.

Durham replaces Buddy Little, who guided the Lady Wolverines to a 40-14 mark over the past two seasons. Little is also Texico’s principal and athletic director.

“I needed to pull an iron or two out of the fire,” Little said. “I didn’t have any family time.”

Texico graduates four seniors a squad which went 20-8 and lost in the Class 2A regional semifinals.

“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Durham said. “I’m anxious to see how we can do.”

A Portales High and Eastern New Mexico University graduate, the 39-year-old Durham served as an assistant coach at both schools after graduating from college. He spent five years (1995-2000) at Division II Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., the first three as the women’s head coach and the last two as the men’s head coach.

Two years ago, he spent one season as an assistant women’s coach at Division I Boise State.

“I just wanted to be a head coach again,” Durham said. “I’ve enjoyed being an assistant and I’ve learned from all the people I worked with.”

Little said Durham was hired from about 10 candidates, and will also teach history and physical education at Texico High School and Texico Junior High.

“First of all, he’s a good person and has high standards,” he said of Durham. “I like the fact that he’s very knowledgeable about basketball.”

Last year, he coached seventh grade girls basketball at Marshall Junior High while also volunteering his services to CHS girls coach Miles Watters. The Lady Wildcats put together a 30-0 season, capped by a 49-46 win over previously unbeaten Las Cruces Mayfield in a rematch of the 2004 state championship game.

“He just has a passion for the game,” Watters said of Durham. “He volunteered and did an outstanding job for us.

“I think Texico is very fortunate to get him. He’s a great coach and he’ll do a great job for them.”