Ex-PHS assistant named head coach

By Dave Wagner: PNT sports writer

Former Portales High offensive coordinator Andy Correll has been hired to be the Rams’ new head football coach.

A native of Knox City, Texas, Correll was chosen from seven candidates interviewed by the school. He was the offensive coordinator at PHS from 1999-2001, under outgoing head coach Glenn Johnson.

Correll, 38, has spent the past three years an an assistant principal in Texas, the first year at Iowa Park and the last two at Abilene Wylie, but said he was ready to get back into coaching. His mother-in-law is a former junior high principal in Portales.

He’s had several stints as an assistant coach. His only previous head coaching job was at Grape Creek High School in San Angelo, Texas.

“I’ve always felt my calling was in coaching,” Correll said. “Portales was one of the places my family would like to move to.

“We’ve got a lot of close friends there. Portales has always had a pretty special place in our hearts, and we’re glad to be going back.”

Correll went to Angelo State for two years in the mid-1980s, playing football there as a freshman before a knee injury sidelined him. He worked in the oil business for several years, but returned to school at Eastern New Mexico University in 1993, earning an undergraduate degree in 1996 and a Master’s in 2003.

PHS principal Melvin Nusser said the school is getting a capable man. In addition to his coaching duties, Correll will also teach science and physical education at the high school.

“He brings a lot of experience to the system,” Nusser said. “He’s worked under a lot of head coaches.

“The main thing is he’s a good teacher, not only in the classroom but on the football field.”

Correll and wife Patricia have a daughter, Courtney, 16, who will be a senior next year, and a son, Kyle, 10.

Correll said he plans to be in Portales for a couple of days next week to meet with coaches and returning players.

Johnson resigned his football coaching position for personal reasons in February after seven seasons at the helm. Johnson, also the boys track coach and the monitor of the school’s in-school-suspension program, posted a 38-49 record as the football coach and led the Rams to the 2002 Class 3A state finals, where they lost to Ruidoso.