By Abby Dunn: PNT Correspondent
He’s been a head coach at the collegiate level for 18 years, but Mike Maguire still can never get enough of the action.
“I love what I do,” said Maguire, “I want to be at all the games; I want to make sure that (athletes) are making academic progress, and not getting into trouble.”
In addition to his position as head women’s volleyball coach at Eastern New Mexico University, Maguire is also the university’s athletic director, a position with which he’s just completed four seasons. He says it’s a position he doesn’t take lightly.
“(I) have to deal with all the issues going on in the (athletic) department,” said Maguire, “I spend the bulk of my day dealing with coaches and players.”
Maguire has been at ENMU for 16 consecutive years, longer than any other coach who works at the university, and has returned to ENMU following other stints as a high school and college coach.
He began his career as an assistant volleyball coach at Eastern New Mexico University in 1981.
Soon after he accepted a position as a coach in Elida where he coached volleyball at the high school level for two years.
However, Maguire returned to ENMU in 1984, where he resumed his position as assistant volleyball coach. After only one year, Maguire took a position at Chadron State College in Nebraska, where he got his first taste of being a head coach. While in Nebraska, Maguire served as the head coach of the women’s volleyball team and an assistant with the women’s basketball program.
In 1987, Maguire was back at ENMU.
“I missed Portales,” said Maguire, “I saw that a job opened up here, and I applied for it.”
This time Maguire was appointed head volleyball coach and head tennis coach at ENMU — his first, but certainly not last, experience with dual roles.
“I did that double duty for three years, plus teaching,” said Maguire, “I guess the university thought I was doing a pretty good job, so they lightened my load and let me focus on volleyball.”
Maguire wasn’t always a volleyball enthusiast. He first began his athletic career playing high school basketball in Colorado, and a basketball scholarship brought him to ENMU in 1976.
After two years at ENMU, Maguire transferred to Mesa State College in Colorado, where he received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. However, Maguire quickly returned to Portales to begin his coaching career, during this time he earned his master’s degree in physical education.
Since then, Maguire has led the women’s volleyball team to 15 consecutive winning seasons, and has been named Lone Star Conference South Division Coach of the Year four times.
Now, as both head volleyball coach and athletic director, Maguire says his main priority is to make sure all athletes are treated equally and are provided the best possible chance to be successful.
“I want our entire department to be successful. I want to make sure that I treat athletes and staff as fairly as I can,” said Maguire, “I want to make sure that the athletes know that they’re being provided an excellent opportunity to succeed, and I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re being shortchanged.”
Maguire says one of the most important things he’s learned since taking on both jobs, is to make his job at home the top priority.
“It’s really a great job,” said Maguire, “but the best part of my day is going home and spending time with my wife and baby.”