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Burrola named new Coyote coach; Longtime basketball assistant ready to lead defending state champions

New Roswell High head basketball coach Moses "Dude" Burrola watches from near the bench as the Coyotes take on Grants in a summer game Saturday at the Coyote Den. Burrola, an 11-year assistant coach for the Coyotes, was named head coach Wednesday. (AJ Dickman Photo)

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Whenever a big time head coach hangs it up, especially after a state championship season, the task of finding a new skipper to take the helm can be daunting.

Luckily, Roswell High didn’t have to look far for the man that will lead the Coyote basketball team into the next era, as longtime assistant Moses “Dude” Burrola was named the new head basketball coach Wednesday.

“I’ve always wanted to be a head coach, and certainly, to be able to become head coach here, where I’ve been for 11 years,” said Burrola. “To finally get this opportunity to come in and continue the success we’ve had under coach (Britt) Cooper is exciting.”

Burrola has run the Roswell offense for the past nine seasons, during which time the Coyotes won four state titles, including the most recent championship back in March.

“Most head coaches that have been going at it as long as (Cooper) has are kind of stuck in their ways, but he wasn’t,” said Burrola. “He let me come up with gameplans. He pretty much did everything to get me ready for this. Most coaches don’t do that. I think that led to our success together.”

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The departures of seniors Chris Mesquita and Garret Smothermon leaves holes on the court that Burrola thinks are ready to be filled by up-and-coming players.

“We have some good sophomore coming up that played freshman ball last year and got a lot of experience,” he said. “We had our camp last weekend and our freshman group is probably one of the better groups we’ve had. We have a lot of work in front of us, but at the camp, we lost our first game, then came back and won the last six straight.”

Three of last year’s starting five are back in senior Logan Eaker, junior Tarren Burrola and sophomore Jasia Reese.

“Chris Mesquita’s leadership will be hard to replace, but Logan has already started to take on that role. Same with Isaiah Carmona and Pat Brown, more seniors that will help us with leadership. We’re looking forward to another solid year. Jasia is exciting to watch. Tarren can shoot the ball with just about anyone in the state. We have some holes to fill, but we’re not going away.”

Tarren Burrola and incoming freshman Taymon Burrola are two of “Dude” Burrola’s three sons. Tarren has already established himself as one of the top players in the state, especially from behind the arc. Burrola said he knows he’s hard on his sons, but that’s the way it has to be.

“I am hard on (Tarren), probably harder than most, but now, as head coach, I don’t want anyone thinking he’s getting any favors, because he’s not,” Burrola said. “We’ve talked about it with the kids and I told them that if I yelled at them the way I yell at Tarren, they probably wouldn’t want to play anymore. It’ll take some adjusting for both of us, but I think it’ll work out just fine.”

Burrola has spent his entire coaching career in Chaves County, starting 20-something years ago with stops at Mesa Middle School, Dexter High School and Mountain View Middle School before getting the assistant job at Roswell High, and is looking forward to coaching a premier program that he knows very well.

“I’ve lived in Roswell pretty much my whole life,” he said. “I know the kids and I know the community. It’s a good place to be. I’m a Coyote through and through so I’m excited to be at Roswell High.”