Keith’s Korner: Athletic Director Ok’s Coach

By J.T. Keith – Sports Editor

Needing a win in the worst way after losing two close games, the Greyhounds could be 3-0. Eastern New Mexico University, earned their first win of the season Saturday night 28-19, with a win over Oklahoma Panhandle State, in a game played at Carl Wooten Stadium.  Safety Jason Serda, returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown to move the Greyhounds record (1-2) and (0-1) in the Lone Star Conference, on the season.

 Losing a heartbreaker in the season opener at home to New Mexico Highlands University 43-36, fans at the game witness the Greyhounds squander a 28-0 halftime lead.

Speaking with Athletic Director Dr. Jeff Geiser, after that painful loss in the second week of the season it was asked if  Head Coach Mark Ribaudo, needs to have a winning season this year to save his job.

J.T.: Coach Ribaudo, has not had a winning season in his six years as Head Coach. After Saturday night loss, is his job in jeopardy?

Keep reading…

A.D.: My comment  is, it’s way too early. I mean we’ve only had one game. Yes it was a bitter loss, and our team, the mettle of our team is going to be tested right now, to see how we come back from that gut wrenching defeat, after we were up 28-0. It’s one game.

I believe our young men will get themselves off the mat and get back up and fight again. When you get knock down, what do you do?  You get back up. So I expect our young men to get back up. I believe they will get their leadership from the head man Coach Ribaudo, and so it is way too early to speculate about what is going to happen this season. I don’t care about the schedule, we take them one at a time. That’s my position.

J.T.: So you’re giving him a vote of confidence?

A.D.: Of course there’s a vote of confidence!

J.T.: Now does his contract extend beyond this year?

A.D.: All of our, every employee in the Athletic department here is on an, at will contract. We’re on one year contracts. That includes me that include everybody in the athletic department. Almost every Division II program there is in the country. These long term contracts that you read about in the paper are only applicable to Division I. Division II coaches are on at will administrative contracts.

J.T. : So it would be conjecture to say that if there is a losing season that you would revisit it at the end of the season ? If that were to happen?

A.D.: Yeah, if that were to happen.

J.T.: So no matter what, he’s the Coach for the rest of the year?

A.D.: Of course he is! God Dang! Yeah! Jeez! I would expect these kinds of questions if it were mid-season or toward the end of the season, and we were struggling. C’mon we only had one game. Let’s not stir a hornet’s nest so early in the season, it’s only been one game. Give the guy  a– Coach Ribaudo is a good man, he graduates his seniors;  and for the most part, for the most part our football players are good citizens on campus, and their good fine young men. Let’s not bury him, let’s get behind him and support him, and see what happens.

J.T. : We’ll revisit this at the end of the year?

A.D.: Yeah, we’ll see what happens.

J.T. : And you make the decisions to hire and fire, or does the President of the University, at least for the coaching? Cause us we have had a lot of turnover. Baseball coach…

A.D.: Coach Clabaugh retired on his own free will, Coach Weiss retired on his own free will, Coach Nauss, retired on his own free will. The only issue I pushed was the Volleyball switch.

  Athletic Director works in conjunction with the President of the University. I answer directly to Dr. Gamble.

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