Coach Roanhaus wins 300th

Kevin Wilson

Cannon blasts filled the air, as they have so often on Clovis Friday nights, and the fireworks lighted the night sky, signifying a milestone win for Eric Roanhaus.

But the longtime Clovis coach simply did what he had done 299 times before Friday’s 40-0 pounding of Alamogordo — put one in the Wildcat win column.

At 300-103-5, Roanhaus is the third coach in New Mexico history to amass 300 football wins. He trails only Bill Gentry (305) and Jim Bradley (311) at the top.

“It’s a big thing for us,” said senior Juan Rivas, who had a pair of touchdowns and two interceptions in the win, one of six home games this season at Leon Williams Stadium. “I’m pretty sure it’s a big thing for Coach Roanhaus, but he didn’t show it. He’s never satisfied.”

Roanhaus called a run-heavy attack that rolled out 375 of Clovis’ 437 yards. The defense, run by 20-year assistant and former Wildcat player Darren Kelly, held the visiting Tigers to 142 yards and four first downs.

Kelley said whether it was one of his 10 state championship seasons or one of just three losing seasons, nothing about Roanhaus’ approach to practice, film study or game management has changed.

“He expects everyone to do things right,” Kelley said. “There’s the right way, and that’s the only way to do things.”

Alamogordo coach Tommy Standefer, a 1992 Clovis High grad who went on from the Wildcats to play for Eastern New Mexico University, used a classic Roanhaus adage, saying, “I think we were able to save the jerseys” in the blowout.

“As a friend of Coach Roanhaus and one of his former players, that’s a great accomplishment. I wish he’d have picked another time to do it, but he’s been a real influence to me and he was a second father to me in high school.”