Home Sports Local Sports For Maupin, his dream job almost didn’t happen

For Maupin, his dream job almost didn’t happen

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Former Los Lunas head coach Jeremy Maupin talks to one of his players earlier this season. Maupin was named the Artesia head football coach on Monday. (Submitted Photo)

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This day almost didn’t happen. In 2017 when former Bulldogs coach Cooper Henderson retired, the job was open. Applying for the job were Rex Henderson and Jeremy Maupin with a host of qualified coaches.

Former Los Lunas head coach Jeremy Maupin. (Submitted Photo)

Artesia selected Henderson and the decision proved to be the correct one. Henderson led the Bulldogs to their 30th Blue Trophy. In recent years things have been tough, as they went 6-6 and lost all three district games in 2019.

After a 2-3 season this year, Henderson resigned to spend more time with his family. For Artesia, it took all of four days before the Bulldogs got their man. On Monday they hired Maupin to be their next head coach 17 years (2004) after he quarterbacked them to a Blue Trophy. Maupin also spent 2012-17 as an assistant coach there, winning two titles in 2014 and ’15.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Maupin and his family back to Artesia,” said John Ross Null, Superintendent of Artesia Public Schools. “Coach Maupin is an outstanding leader of young men and has become a very well-respected football coach across our state. We also appreciate the cooperation of the Los Lunas administration through this transition.”

For four years Maupin has proven himself to be a big-game coach. He has led the Los Lunas Tigers to two District 4-5A championship games in his four years as head coach, losing both to Roswell, in 2018 (42-6) and ’19 (25-19). Along the way, Los Lunas has beaten Goddard twice in the semifinal game.

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Maupin has an overall record of 30-10, a 4-1 record against Belen, and a 3-0 record against Valencia. Maupin took over the Tiger program from former coach Terrell Trantham in 2017.

What does that mean for the area coaches? Maupin is 3-1 against Goddard coach Chris White and 0-5 against Jeff Lynn.

Lynn said Maupin’s done a good job at Los Lunas. Roswell has a lot of experience playing Jeremy Maupin teams, having played them more than anybody in the last four years.

“We have a lot of respect for Jeremy (Maupin),” Lynn said. “The work that he has done at Los Lunas, he’s a good coach. He runs a good program and he’s a good guy. Everybody has a lot of respect for him. He runs a good program. I think he will do well there, he’s an ‘Air Raid’ guy and he knows the culture. It’s a natural fit, they bring home one of their boys.”

Maupin said that what led him to decide to return to Artesia are the great traditions, school systems and programs. He still has a lot of family (three sisters) in the area as well. For Maupin, it wasn’t an easy decision to come back to Artesia. He prayed about it and consulted his wife. He felt like his Los Lunas team had a lot of talent returning next season and expected to contend for a playoff spot. In the end, it came down to Artesia for him and his family.

One of the changes he will make is the terminology of his system. Maupin is looking to bring a few assistant coaches with him and is working to be on campus in the next couple of weeks. Maupin said the pay is about the same as what he was making at Los Lunas.

“At the end of the day, it is home,” Maupin said. “It is what I know. I’m excited about the new opportunity. Sometimes change is good. I’m keeping my eyes forward and focusing on the future and not the past.”

Maupin said it is exciting and humbling to be the head coach at Artesia. He told a story of how Cooper Henderson, in his office, has a big picture of the stands in a playoff game at the Bulldog Bowl in the 1990s. In the front row, Maupin as a little kid is sitting there watching the game. He gets chills thinking about this moment and that picture.

“It has been a big thing in my life,” Maupin said. “To be the head guy, I’m very honored and excited. I would love to coach in the Super Bowl one day, but for now, this is my dream job.”

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