There is more to life than sports.
Miguel Medina reminded us of that with his Monday resignation as the head football coach at Española Valley High School.
How many times have people heard coaches leave a program, citing “personal reasons” or saying they wanted to focus on their family, only to see them go to another program somewhere else within a year or two?
It raises questions about the real motivation for their departure.
With Medina’s resignation letter, he outlined exactly why he felt it was necessary to walk away from the program for the second time in four years.
The first time, he did it out of loyalty to Española Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez after she was fired for her investigation into embattled boys basketball coach Richard Martinez.
This time, he did it out of loyalty to himself.
The letter Medina wrote does not appear to be something he took lightly, and it was brutally honest.
Divorce is difficult to go through, especially when the process become contentious and downright nasty (it should be noted that there is no evidence to support that Medina’s divorce fits that category).
The more troubling part relates to his health issues.
Many of us understand the battles we face in trying to eat right, exercise properly and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
To be honest, coaching isn’t exactly the best profession to maintain good habits. The hours are long and arduous, the pressure from expectations — academically, socially and athletically — can be high, road trips are daunting and the temptation of eating unhealthy food is almost constant.
When you read that his doctor is telling him that a stroke was imminent (not possible, but likely), that’s a jaw-dropper right there.
We should be rooting for Medina because he tries to do things in that oft-uttered coach-speak — “the right way.” There wasn’t a better feel-good story when the Sundevils finally broke through with their best season ever in 2015 after four decades of futility, and there was a sense that the program was tracking in the right direction under him.
When Medina returned, Española won as many games as it did in the previous two seasons, and it appeared that the team was on another upswing. Plus, it takes a lot of guts to pull your team off the field after a brawl, but he knew that his players were not in the right frame of mind, especially considering the tragic death of former Española student and basketball player Cameron Martinez that impacted the entire community.
Here’s hoping that this isn’t the last time we see Medina on the sidelines because he has had a positive impact on many students as well as student-athletes and a place like Española needs more teachers, administrators and coaches like him.
If that does not happen, just get well, coach.
We’d love to have you around for a little while longer.