ENMU soccer coaches moving on

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University will have two new soccer coaches for the 2008 season.

Women’s coach Travis McCorkle was named Tuesday as the women’s coach at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. ENMU and Angelo State are both members of the Lone Star Conference.

Men’s coach Carlos Elizondo recently resigned his position to take a job as the director of coaching for Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Youth Soccer.

ENMU is in the process of accepting applications for both positions.

McCorkle, 39, started the ENMU women’s soccer program in 2003 and began the men’s program the following year. Elizondo joined the program as an assistant for men and women in 2004 and was promoted to men’s head coach the following year.

McCorkle served as the women’s assistant at Angelo State in 2001 and 2002. He served at ASU under Tom Brown, who recently took the head coaching position at Division I Sam Houston State.

“When I left Angelo State, the athletic director there said, ‘If anything happens here (in the coaching situation), I want you to apply,’” McCorkle said. “They called me recently and said Tom had an opportunity to go to Sam Houston State, and wanted to know if I’d be interested.

“Everything went great as far as the interview goes. The main thing is my wife (Luann) had made a lot of friends when we were there before, and that played a big part in my decision.”

He said it wasn’t easy leaving a program he’d started.

“It had nothing to do with the team; I love the girls, and the athletic department has been extremely supportive,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity Dr. (Steven) Gamble (ENMU president) has given me here.”

Elizondo and ENMU athletic director Mike Maguire were out of town on Tuesday, and attempts to reach both were unsuccessful.

McCorkle’s record with the women’s program in five seasons was 40-47-4, including 14-28-4 in the LSC. The Zias made the six-team conference tournament once, in 2006.

“Travis’ LSC and NCAA Division II experience was very attractive to us,” ASU athletic director Kathleen Brasfield said. “He was a good assistant for ASU when he was here before and we feel he can continue the success of our women’s soccer program and its drive for a conference title.”

Elizondo helped start a youth soccer club in his hometown of El Paso after graduating from North Texas University.

His teams, playing in the Southwest Soccer Conference, posted a record of 16-35-5 in three seasons, including a 5-12-5 mark in the SSC.

Gamble said ENMU has some names in mind and may be able to name coaches within the next 10 days.

“What we would probably look at, because it’s so late, is an ‘emergency’ hire,” he said.

Gamble added that one or both coaches may carry an “interim” tag for next year, giving the school more time to find a permanent replacement.

“Both coaches did a very good job for us,” Gamble said. “They’re leaving programs that are in a good state.

“We wish them both well. They both are very good coaches and good people.”

Elizondo and ENMU athletic director Mike Maguire were out of town on Tuesday, and attempts to reach both were unsuccessful.