PNT Photo: Kevin Wilson
B.J. Mitchell spends many afternoons at the fields and courts of Portales Junior High School, where he coaches three sports for eighth-graders.
Your name: B.J. Mitchell.
Your job: History Teacher and coach at Portales Junior High.
Your age (and Birth Date): 26 years old; March 5, 1979.
Your hometown: Portales.
Occupation: I teach U.S. history and reading and I coach eighth-grade football, basketball, and track.
Your family: Wife: Erin, Son: Brent, daughter on the way in July (planned name, Casyn).
Your Hobbies and groups you are involved with, volunteer work: Hunting, fishing, coaching, playing softball with my friends, but mostly spending time with my family.
What do you think of Portales?
“I’ve been here my whole life, so I don’t know anything else. I love it here.”
What do you visualize your life being like in 10 years?
“Probably a lot like it is right now, but hopefully college will be paid off by then! Hopefully still healthy and a head coach somewhere. I’d like to spend more quality time with my wife and my family. My son will be 12, so I anticipate us doing a lot of things together.”
Tell us about your parents:
“They were great and they still are. I don’t know what I would do without them. They are awesome grandparents too. My mom is always supportive and willing to do more than her share to make things work. My dad is the true self-made man.”
Who is someone you admire in life? Why?
“There are several people and different reasons for each. First are my dad and my granddad. They showed me what it took to be a man and to stand up for what I believe in. Those two had a tremendous impact on me. The other three people I admire are people that coached me who I also work with now: Coach (John) Chavez, Coach (Mark) Gallegos, and Coach (Greg) Hill.”
What is your greatest hope?
“That we can do something to make this out of control world we live in safer for our kids and grandkids and to go fishing with my granddad in Heaven one day.”
When you were a kid, what did you think you’d be doing as an adult?
“When I was really young, I wanted to be one of the Dukes of Hazzard. When I realized that the General Lee really couldn’t withstand that kind of punishment, I had to drop that. My real dream was to be a baseball player and a dad, and I fulfilled the dad part.”
If I could do anything, I would…
“Make sure that this world is in better shape before God comes back. I’d be pretty embarrassed for him to see it the way it is.”
Do you have children? Have they influenced your life?
“I have a son, Brent, and a daughter on the way. My son is the main reason I get out of bed every day. I look him in the eyes and life becomes clear. He has shown me that the object of life is very simple: love and be happy. People who have kids know what I mean.”
Tell us about a happy time:
“When the Dallas Cowboys finally got rid of Quincy Carter! The two HAPPIEST days of my life were the day I married Erin and the day my son was born.”
What is your favorite TV show? Why do you relate to it?
“The Rodney Carrington show. I don’t relate to it, I just think its funny. I also like Nip/Tuck.”
If you could go on an adventure, what would it entail?
“It would have to go with shooting a whole bunch of trophy game animals here in North America and in Africa.”
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
“Any day that I get to spend outdoors with my family.”
What do you like about your job?
“I like all of it. I really enjoy coaching and teaching as a combination. Seeing the kid’s progress in both areas is special. I also really enjoy the people that I work with. Its not too often you have the opportunity to work with people that you can be friends with.”
Tell us about your spouse:
“Erin is my best friend and the only person I have ever seen myself spending forever with. She is a great mother too. Most people who don’t really know us probably think we are crazy because we are both really sarcastic and we find it humorous to purposely argue with each other over miniscule things. We are so much alike that it really shines doubt on the theory that opposites attract.”
Tell about a time your were nervous:
“When my wife was in labor for what seemed like days, and the doctors finally gave in and did a c-section. I enjoy watching that kind of stuff on TV, but I don’t know those people. I was also nervous because I didn’t know what to expect with the whole fatherhood thing.”
If you could redo one moment in life, what would it be? Why?
“I’d redo the last time I saw my granddad alive. He was going to Albuquerque for cancer treatments, and he came by our house to say that he would see us in a few weeks, I was 15 years old, and in a hurry to get somewhere and gave him a quick hug and left. My granddad ended up dying a few days later. I did not tell him I loved him one last time.
— Compiled by Laurie Stone