The history books will inexorably link coach Bill Moon and the Capital football program for their success together.
Moon’s second chapter at the school ended Thursday when the 71-year-old submitted his letter of resignation, confirmed Santa Fe Public Schools Associate Superintendent Larry Chavez. Moon spent the past nine years piloting the program, producing a 36-50-1 record with three district titles and just as many state playoff appearances. Capital was also where he spent 18 of his 26 years as a head coach, having started the program when the school opened in 1988 and leading it to a 55-41 mark and three district titles before resigning in 1996.
Overall, Moon has a 114-164-1 record in 26 seasons. All seven of his playoff appearances came at Capital.
The Jaguars went 2-2 in the shortened 2020 season played this spring due to the pandemic. Chavez said while Capital experienced plenty of success, Moon did more than that.
“He did a great job of advocating for his program and the student athletes, not only his own but for the entire school,” Chavez said. “I want to thank him for everything he’s done.”
Moon did not return phone messages left by The New Mexican.
When the Capital head coaching position opened in 2012 after consecutive 1-9 seasons, Moon returned. His introductory meeting with prospective players that summer produced just 16 attendees. In August 2013, Moon said it was in worse shape than his first stint— and there was nothing.
“We were two weeks away from this program not existing,” Moon said. “There were no coaches here. We had feral children.”
After consecutive 1-9 seasons, the Jaguars broke through with a 5-5 record and went 29-27-1 over the next six seasons. Capital celebrated its first district title in eight years in 2015 and came within an eyelash of winning its first playoff game in as many years before losing a heartbreaker, 27-26, to Roswell Goddard in the first round of the 5A playoffs.
The Jaguars won district titles in 2017 and 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic threw the 2020 season into chaos. With a team of mostly seniors that Moon believed could contend for a Class 5A title, Capital went 2-2 when the condensed season began in March. In Moon’s final game with the program, Capital rallied from a 27-20 deficit in the fourth quarter but lost to Piedra Vista 30-28 on a field goal in the final minutes.
Chavez said the district posted the coaching position for applications Thursday and he would like to have a hire by the end of June, if not sooner.
“We have summer conditioning coming around the corner and we want to make sure we don’t drop the ball on that,” Chavez said.
When the school opened in 1988, Moon was selected to build the program from scratch. It took him three years before Capital reached the playoffs, and the Jaguars made it three more times over the next six years. Moon left to build the program at Rio Rancho High School.
After three years at Rio Rancho and four years at Santa Fe High, Moon spent four years working as an attorney before coaching at Española Valley in 2008 and 2009.