Freedom New Mexico
Longtime Portales volleyball coach Brenda Stockton was one of three inductees into the New Mexico High School Coaches Association’s Hall of Honor this week.
Stockton, former Mayfield, Moriarty and Estancia football coach Michael Draper and former Cimarron basketball coach Eloy Brazil were inducted on Thursday in Albuquerque.
Stockton coached the Lady Rams from 1975-2000, posting a 26-year record of 365-161. She also coached at Fort Stockton, Texas and at Tatum before coming to PHS.
“Actually, it was a pretty big surprise,” Stockton, a native of Fort Sumner, said of the award. “It’s a big deal. It’s the highest honor you can receive as a New Mexico (high school) coach.
“When you are nominated and accepted, you’re among the very best in the state.”
Under Stockton, the Lady Rams captured 10 district titles and advanced to the state tournament 20 times. Her teams won Class 3A state crowns in 1976, 1980 and 2000 and finished second six times between 1978 and 1989 — including each of the last four of those years.
“That was probably the toughest four years,” she said. “In three of those years, we had beaten (Roswell) Goddard three times — twice in (district play) and in the district championship — and then lost to them in the state finals.”
Stockton also coached girls basketball for six seasons at PHS (1975-81), winning a 3A state championship in 1978 and finishing second three times. She turned that job over to her late husband, Benny, in 1982 with the birth of daughter Kasey.
She said it wasn’t easy to step down, but noted that her husband was having some health issues. He died in March 2006.
“It was hard (to retire), but I had 30 years in,” Stockton said. “I needed to be with my family and I needed to take care of (Benny).”
Kasey Stockton, a first-grade teacher in Frisco, Texas, was at the ceremony in Albuquerque this week to give the introduction speech for her mother.