It’s the end of an era for Hobbs football.
After seven seasons as the head football coach, Charles Gleghorn submitted his resignation letter to Hobbs Athletic Director Brenda Wilson Tuesday afternoon.
“I don’t know if there is ever a good time or a right time for anything like this,” Gleghorn said. “But, I think the program is in a good spot right now and it is definitely better than what I walked into. … I have been coaching for about 22 years. I have a lot of things I want to be able to do with my own kids and that is important to me.”
Wilson was caught off guard by Gleghorn’s announcement.
“I am saddened by coach Gleghorn’s resignation, but I understand the need to take care of himself and his family,” Wilson said. “He has put a lot of his heart and soul into Hobbs Eagle football these last (seven) years and I think he is definitely leaving it in much better shape and a better program than when he took over.”
Gleghorn won’t only be stepping away from his coaching job, he will be leaving his teaching job as well. He plans to spend more time with his family.
“I have a nephew who coaches out in Texas, so I am going to go do some of that,” Gleghorn said. “My daughter (Claire) will be at New Mexico State, so I will be visiting her a lot.”
During his tenure as the Eagles’ head coach, Hobbs football went 39-38 under Gleghorn. He had four winning seasons and three losing seasons. His best season as head coach was in 2017, when the Eagles finished 9-3, losing in the state quarterfinals. His teams made it to the playoffs four times, including the quarterfinals three times. Hobbs also hosted two playoff games under Gleghorn.
“THOSE HOME PLAYOFF GAMES were in back-to-back years too,” Gleghorn said. “Looking back, there are a lot of positives. I know when I got her, back in January of 2012, … we have made great strides in the weight room and getting the kids stronger. We certainly have gotten the football IQ increased a lot, to where it is consistent from year to year. That says a lot about our middle school coaches and our freshmen coaches who bring them up through to high school.”
While Gleghorn was the head coach, Hobbs never lost to Lea County rival Lovington. Hobbs outscored Lovington 304 to 68 during that time. The Eagles shut out the Wildcats twice and held Lovington to one touchdown twice. The Eagles scored 50 or more points in each of the last four meetings.
“My first year here, I went to the Rotary luncheon,” Gleghorn said. “One of the questions I was asked that day was, before we start thinking about certain teams and certain expectations, we have to beat Lovington. I said when I was coaching at Hatch, we beat Lovington so we will certainly never lose to them while I am coaching here in Hobbs. I guess that worked out thankfully.”
After discussing his future with his family over the weekend and letting Hobbs Superintendent TJ Parks know on Monday, Gleghorn broke the news to the players on Tuesday.
“I let them know I won’t be out there with them everyday, but I am not moving away. I will still be here in Hobbs and I told them (Tuesday) I have a lot of Hobbs gear,” Gleghorn said. “I told the kids, I coached at four different schools, Hatch Valley, Kirtland Central, Mesilla Valley, and here in Hobbs. I am glad I kind of graduated as a Hobbs Eagle.”
The Eagles had some talented players come through their system and thrived under Gleghorn’s offense.
“He is a great coach, and an offensive genius,” Wilson said. “I think he will be greatly missed. He loves kids and he loves sports and he loves football. He is passionate about that and I appreciate the time he has given Hobbs.”
Quarterback Gavin Hardison, who graduated in 2018, set the single season passing record for NMAA football with 5,347. That broke the record set in 2003 by another of Gleghorn’s former high school quarterbacks, Brett Henson of Hatch Valley. Hardison’s 59 touchdown passes are third most in a season, trailing only Henson in 2004 and 2003.
Former Hobbs wide receiver Alec Finney finished the 2017 season with 1,617 yards receiving, fourth most in NMAA history. He also had 24 touchdown receptions that year, second most in a season in NMAA history. Two years prior, Devin Beard, a 2016 Hobbs graduate, had 20 TD catches, tied for fifth most in a season in NMAA history.
“That was really a special year offensively,” Gleghorn said of the 2017 season. “Those kids really put in the time. That is what I really wanted to bring when I got here, a type and a brand of football that matched what happens over at Tasker Arena with the fast pace and those things.”
THE TIMING OF GLEGHORN’S resignation is not ideal. Last week one of the Eagles top assistant coaches, Ty House, was hired as the new head coach at Belen. The school year is just a couple of weeks from ending, and summer football camps, 7-on-7s and workouts are close to beginning. Wilson hopes to have a new head coach in place before school gets out, on May 24.
“We are going to move real quickly,” Wilson said. “It is our hope to have somebody in place by the time school is out, which is only 2 1/2 weeks. We have a huge camp and a lot of summer activities as far as football is concerned. We will get somebody in place as quickly as we can.”
The future is undetermined for Gleghorn, but the one thing he does know he plans to do is take a break.
“I am looking forward to taking some vacations,” Gleghorn said. “I haven’t been on a vacation since 2004, so I think I will be doing some vacationing pretty soon.”