JuliAnn Martinez was hired as the new head volleyball coach at Espanola Valley High School last week.
Martinez Hired as Espanola Volleyball Coach
The official start of the 2019 volleyball season is Aug. 12 and the Espanola Valley High School volleyball team finally has a coach. After languishing all summer after long-time coach Damon Salazar was not rehired April 4 by Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez, the team will report for the first official day of practice with JuliAnn Martinez as head coach.
Martinez last coached at McCurdy Charter School. She led the Lady Bobcats to a 10-8 record in 2016 . Martinez was abruptly fired during the 2017 season after five games during which McCurdy was 4-1 and coming off a win over Class 4A Taos High School.
Salazar had been the coach at Espanola since the 2009 season. Last season, the Lady Sundevils were 14-8, advancing to the Class 4A state volleyball tournament. After finishing first in Pool B in the opening round of pool play, Espanola was defeated by Santa Teresa High School in the quarterfinals. Salazar was 131 -91 during his tenure and he took Espanola to the state tournament seven times. Typically, Salazar would take the team to summer camps and tournaments.
Martinez has been having open gym this past week. She is looking forward to the first day of practice to find out what she has in terms of players. Not all the players have been showing up for open gym.
“I can’t see what I have if they’re not here on the court.,” she said.
Martinez said she applied for the job because no one was stepping up and applying.
“These girls have worked really hard and Damon ran a great program,” she said. “I don’t want to change a thing. It’s a hard transition. Now, they can have a season.”
Newly-hired Espanola Valley volleyball coach JuliAnn Martinez works with the junior varsity team Aug. 8 at Espanola during open gym.