Ribaudo Says Goodbye

Interview by: J.T. Keith

Chase Reporter J.T. Keith called former Eastern head coach Mark Ribaudo, Friday for an interview. In open letter here is what he had to say.
I love those kids more than anything in the world. Not just football, I mean all of them. I got to perform in the theater, in my fifteen years here. I got to conduct the band; I’m an honorary member of the band fraternity, absolutely the greatest. I love those kids. I love my colleagues, the Deans; the Deans are some of my best friends.
Some of the professors like, Doc Elder, Patrice Caldwell, Manny Verilla, the College of Business, are some great, great people and some of my best friends. I love this school. I loved my fifteen years here. This has been some of the greatest years of my life. It’s been fantastic. I have no regrets. I love everybody that’s been involved with it. The only regret that I have is that I couldn’t win more ball games for the players and the students, and not for anybody else.
This year was my seventh year here, and we hadn’t had a winning season, and I really don’t have a leg to stand on. Seven years without a winning season, Holy smokes who has that in the country. The flip side of that is they didn’t do much to help us win here everybody knows that; you wrote that in your first article. They said, Rib, we gave you seven years what more? Really what leg do I have to stand on?
I feel terrible for my assistant coaches. They have to look for jobs, and it’s hard. It’s hard. I wish it didn’t happen. I have sat in their shoes. That hurts me because I coached Draco Miller, Larry Vernado, Todd Wallace; they mean a lot to me. We just had a bad year.
Winning the Spirit of Eastern is the Highest Award I have ever done. I asked President Gamble if Eastern is going to be better without Mark Ribaudo. I’m just heartbroken that it happened; I’ve lived her fifteen years I have poured everything I had into this University. My two kids were born here. I have fallen in love with these kids at Eastern New Mexico University. I wish I could stay but that’s life. I love helping kids and I love helping kids through football, now I’ll have to do that elsewhere.

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