Portales High School teacher and coach Ruth Chavez has some new hardware to go along with the four state volleyball championships she helped her Lady Rams win.
Earlier this month, Chavez received a letter from the New Mexico Activities Association informing her of Coach of the Year honors.
“They just told me that I was the New Mexico volleyball Coach of the Year,” Chavez said. “And they invited me to the luncheon.”
Chavez beat out 139 other coaches around the state for the award — but the truth is, she didn’t want anybody to know about it.
“How did you find out about that, darn it? I’ve been trying to keep that low-profile,” Chavez said. “You know how I am. It’s embarrassing.”
“There’s a lot of coaches that work hard,” Chavez continued. “And it’s nice that they honor us.”
“She’s such a humble person. I hadn’t even been notified about it from the Activities Association,” PHS principal Melvin Nusser said. “It’s not only a great honor for (her) but it’s a great honor for our school and our community because it’s just another example of the kind of people employed in our (school) district.”
Last November Chavez led her girls to their fifth state volleyball championship in the last eight seasons. Since Chavez took over the program after the 2000 season, her teams have captured the state title four times.
“She spends endless hours, more than just coaching the game of volleyball,” Nusser said. “She’s one of those coaches that if you have a daughter that plays for her, you’d want your daughter to grow up and be like her.”
The awards banquet is set for Thursday night, but Chavez will be in the Duke City tonight to watch recent Portales graduate and three-sport Lady Ram star Bethany Self participate in the New Mexico North-South volleyball contest at the University of New Mexico’s Johnson Center. The North-South game is set for a 6 p.m. start time tonight.
“She’s going to represent us well,” Chavez said. “I’m so excited (to watch her).”