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Porras named AD of the Year in Class A

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This has been a good week for Lake Arthur football coach Jose Porras. On Friday night his team earned their first win of the season by beating San Jon/Grady, 77-32. Before the game, he received unexpected good news from the New Mexico Activities Association: He was selected Class A Athletic Director of the Year.

“It is my pleasure to inform each of you that you have been selected as AD of the Year in your respective classifications. Each of you will receive your award at this year’s Fall Conference during the luncheon on Monday, Sept. 30,” said Tammy L. Richards, AD Liaison for New Mexico Activities Association.

Porras is no stranger to excellence in his 20 years as athletic director. He received the same award when there was a Class B five years ago. When he won the award this year, he congratulated all of the other class winners, because each of the winners knows what the others go through.

“I’m thankful,” Porras said, “I appreciate whoever nominated me for this award. It’s not an easy job. I’m very appreciative in receiving the award.”

Being an athletic director at a small school, Porras feels like it’s the same job as it would be if he were at a 5A school. He still has to do paperwork, and has the same responsibilities to handle the officials and schedules, just like at a bigger school.

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Porras is doing double duty because he is the football coach as well, and with 118 wins and five state titles in his 20-year career as football coach and athletic director, he will soon be knocking on the Hall of Fame door for coaches.

“I love what I do,” Porras said. “It’s been a blur these 20 years. It seems like there’s more to do with teaching and coaching. I do my best to stay on top of everything. There are a lot of things athletic directors do that goes unseen and unnoticed.”

One of the big changes that Porras says will be felt by the community, parents and athletes is that an F grade will disqualify them for the next semester.

“Personally, I like it,” Porras said. “Before, an athlete could have one F and still have a 2.0 GPA. I don’t like that, you’re rewarding a kid for not doing what they’re supposed to. High school sports is not a right, it’s a privilege. In order to participate an athlete has to be doing their job and that’s in the classroom.”

Porras thinks if athletes cannot do it in the classroom, they cannot do it in sports. He sees himself as a liaison between the school, community and NMAA. He credits as role models three coaches that showed him how he wanted to live his life.

“Those three men,” Porras said, “made such a huge difference in my life. They made me want to be like them. They portrayed themselves as honest people. I had so much respect for them and they influenced who I am today. They made me want to come back here and be a teacher and coach my brother and sister.”

Porras wanted to be straight forward and honest, treat people right, and he wanted to be like them. He cites James Moore, who was his shop teacher and head football coach. Moore made a difference in his life when he let him be the team manager. He also mentioned James Burch, another football coach and coach Hendrickson, the head basketball coach that made a difference in his life.

“Congratulations on being selected for this award!” Richards said. “You stood out amongst your peers, and are very greatly appreciated by all!”

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.