Doc talks with two founding members
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A History

Around the Course and Down the Track with “Doc”

A Conversation with

Bob Sepulveda – Alamogordo – Hall of Famer

and

Ron Singleton – Carlsbad – Hall of Famer

“The Birth and Conception of the NMTCCCA”

Insights of the Beginning from Ron

Doc: Who had the idea first about creation of an association for track and cross country coaches?

Ron: I would have to give credit to Marilyn and Bob Sepulveda, especially Marilyn.

Doc: What were the dreams of the founders for the future of the NMTCCCA?

Ron: We all wanted to see a strong association of the track and cross country coaches to be able to work with the NMAA to strengthen our sport. We wanted to put in motion the recognition of our athletes by running an all-star track and field meet. We were not getting anywhere with NMAA!

Doc: When and where did the first meeting take place to discuss the formation of the association and who was present?

Ron: I think several of us met in 1987 before the NMAA Coaches Association meeting in July, probably in June. I remember going to Del Norte High School to sit down and work out the details. Those present were Bob and Marilyn Sepulveda, Curtis Williams, Joanne Romero, Gary Sanchez, Blaine Clark, Jim Edwards, Gary Ray, Matt Henry, and Dan MacEachen; not sure, Phil Satenga may have been there.

Doc: How was the word put out that a possible association for track and cross country coaches was being considered?

Ron: Marilyn sent out information for the 1987 Coaches Association meeting that we would be forming the NMTCCCA at the yearly coaches’ meeting, and that was the birth of the NMTCCCA on July 31, 1987.

Doc: In those early meetings, what obstacles were in the way; and how many meetings were held before the July 31, 1987, meeting in Albuquerque?

Ron: Seems to me, we had opposition from NMAA at the start. I think they were afraid we would split with them and go our own way. Of course, they were of no help in creating the all-star meet; as you can tell, we still have to plan and carry it out with virtually no help from the NMAA. Distance was a major factor for us being able to meet to put things in motion. Lots of letters and phone calls took place during that time. Wish I had kept them.

Doc: Who were the major contributors to pushing the creation of the association through?

Ron: Marilyn Sepulveda was the major player in getting the association started. The group I mentioned earlier was very active, but this was Marilyn’s dream and it is a fitting legacy that we honor her with the name of our all-star meet. Wonderful lady! Left us way too early. I think she would be proud of what has transpired since her passing.

Doc: What was the atmosphere like in the early meetings?

Ron: We all got along well because we all believed in what we were trying to get accomplished. We wanted our voice to be heard by the NMAA, and we wanted an all-star meet for our athletes.

Doc: It appears that everyone who came to the July 31st meeting walked away with a responsibility for the future of the NMTCCCA. What was the process used to distribute said responsibilities?

Ron: We elected Marilyn the first president of NMTCCCA; Curtis was elected; and Joanne agreed to be the secretary, bless her heart; the representatives were selected by their regions. I think Marilyn asked them to serve. Gary Ray consented to do a newsletter with Ted Sisneros agreeing to help. Blaine Clark took charge of publicity, and I consented to research and to start putting together the Constitution with the help of Gary Ray, Dan MacEachen, Don Reese, Jim Edwards, Blaine Clark, Rusty Davidson, and Matt Henry. Dan MacEachen agreed to be our TAC representative. This represented the entire state very well.

Doc: What do you think the founders would think of the NMTCCCA as it has developed over the years? What would they be happiest about?

Ron: We would be proud of how the idea developed and matured since 1987. The all-star meet would stand out as one of the proudest accomplishments! Relations with NMAA are better now than they were then. We are proud of those that have kept us at the forefront of making those decisions that affect our sports. Though we are only twenty-seven years old, we have made a difference for our kids. That is what it is all about!

Insights of the Beginning from Bob

Doc: Who had the idea first about creation of an association for track and cross country coaches?

Bob: For years, many coaches who attended the Arizona Track Coaches Clinic in January saw the need to form our own association and track clinic. Our summer clinic held in July never had many speakers on track and field and cross country. The clinic was mostly for football and basketball.

Doc: What were the dreams of the founders for the future of the NMTCCCA?

Bob: Our dreams was to have our own clinic in January before the start of our track and field season. Also, we wanted to form a track and field Meet of Champions. Football and basketball had their all-star games in the summer so we needed to honor our athletes with a Meet of Champions in the spring. Last, we wanted to promote our sport throughout the state and the southwest.

Doc: When and where did the first meeting take place to discuss the formation of the association and who was present?

Bob: I can’t remember the first meeting we had, but I think it was one time in the summer after one of the track and field sessions. We all stayed and discussed the issue about forming our own association. It had to be in the summer of 1985 or 1986. The coaches present as well as I can remember: Marilyn Sepulveda, Bob Sepelveda, Tim Flores, Dan MacEachan, Bill Marley, Matt Henry, Philip Satenga, Ted Sisneros, Joanne Romero, Curtis Williams, Gary Sanchez, Jim Edwards, Ron Maskew, Blaine Clark, and Ron Singleton.

Doc: How was the word put out that a possible association for track and cross country coaches was being considered?

Bob: Word of mouth and a newsletter was sent to all the track and field and cross country coaches who had joined the NM Coaches Association.

Doc: In these early meetings, what obstacles were in the way; and how many meetings were held before the July 31, 1987, meeting in Albuquerque?

Bob: The New Mexico Coaches Association Director Bobby Gibbs was not in favor of forming a track coaches’ association. He thought that it would hurt the membership of the association. We proposed that all coaches joining the New Mexico Track Coaches Association had to join the New Mexico Coaches Association. The football and basketball coaches were not backing us forming our own association.

Doc: Who were the major contributors to pushing the creation of the association through?

Bob: At that time, I think all the track and cross country coaches contributed. Some were more vocal than others: such as, Marilyn Sepulveda, Joanne Romero, Curtis Williams, Blaine Clark, Gary Sanchez, Matt Henry, Jim Edwards, Ron Singleton, Phillip Satenga, and Pam Allen. There were others, but I can’t remember all their names.

Doc: What was the atmosphere like in the early meetings?

Bob: Very busy! We were trying to draw up the constitution; as well as, how were we going to present it to Bobby Gibbs and the board of directors of the New Mexico Coaches Association, and get all the athletic directors in the state to back us while trying to get all assistant coaches to join.

Doc: It appears that everyone who came to the July 31st meeting walked away with a responsibility for the future of the NMTCCCA. What was the process used to distribute said responsibilities?

Bob: It was a giant meeting!! It was after a track session, and everyone stayed for the meeting. I think there were about 75 coaches. We elected officers. Marilyn Sepulveda was elected president then, she chaired the meeting. Many coaches volunteered for the positions as representatives in each class. The meeting lasted about 2 hours.

Doc: What do you think the founders would think of the NMTCCCA as it has developed over the years? What would they be happiest about?

Bob: The founders would be proud the way the association has grown and stayed together with good leadership. It has been a model for many of the track coaches’ associations in the country. Many states looked to our program and started their own programs. We also promoted track and cross country in our state and brought it to another level. The Marilyn Sepulveda Meet of Champions has kept on growing, and it gives the track athletes from all classes a chance to compete against one another.

We thank Bob and Ron for their insights.

Dr. David “Doc” Helm

President-emeritus

Historian/South

Alamogordo

Hall of Famer