PORTALES, N.M. — Eastern New Mexico University athletic director, Dr. Jeff Geiser has announced that Todd Padgett has been selected as the new head coach of the Zia soccer program, and will begin his duties in January. Padgett comes to Eastern very familiar with the level of competition in the region, having helped Fort Lewis reach the NCAA tournament the last two seasons. Padgett becomes the third head coach in team history and succeeds Ray Nause and Travis McCorkle.
“I want to compliment the work of the search committee,” said Geiser. “We had a very good and very deep pool of candidates. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to announce that we have offered the position to Todd Padgett and he has accepted.”
Padgett looks forward to the opportunity. “I would like to thank the athletic administration at Eastern for this opportunity as well as (Fort Lewis coach) Damian Clarke for the opportunity at Fort Lewis which led to this,” said Padgett. Ray (Nause) has left the team in a wonderfulsituation to compete initially and to build on in the future.” “As far as the team goes, I thank them for welcoming me into the family. It is overwhelming to get the consideration and faith that I can build the program into one of the best in the Southwest and in the country.”
Padgett served as an assistant coach at Fort Lewis for the past three seasons, helping the Skyhawks compile a record of 49-13-2. Over that span, FLC has posted a 4-1-1 record against Lone Star Conference competition. In the last two seasons, Fort Lewis has won either the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular season or tournament championship and has been ranked as high as third in the country. Padgett’s efforts helped head coach Damian Clarke earn two consecutive RMAC Coach of the Year honors. He also served as an assistant with the Skyhawk men’s soccer program in 2008, directing training sessions for redshirt and non-travelling players.
Originally from the Albuquerque area, Padgett is no stranger to the amount of soccer talent in the state of New Mexico either, having served as the head coach of the Elite F.C. Adrenaline from 2008-2009, based in Albuquerque, N.M. In 2008, he guided the squad to a first-place finish in the state and followed with a New Mexico Youth Soccer Association State Cup Tournament Championship in 2009. Padgett saw 12 of his players receive the opportunity to advance to the NCAA Division I and Division II levels.
From 2003-04, he returned to his alma mater, as the boys soccer coach at Sandia High School. During that time, the Matadors earned a top-25 national ranking and were Large School State Finalists.
“Todd has a tremendous record and is a proven coach in his capacity at Fort Lewis College,” said Geiser. “ Fort Lewis has become one of the premier programs in the country in both men’s and women’s soccer. His New Mexico network for recruiting is superlative. He is a New Mexican, as is his family, which includes alumni of Eastern New Mexico University. He fits this position like a hand in a glove. We are excited to welcome him to the Eastern family.”
In addition to his collegiate, high school and club experience, Padgett has worked numerous camps in clinics in both New Mexico and Colorado. From 2004-08, he was a team captain at center back and midfield for the Albuquerque Asylum in the outdoor league, reaching the national quarterfinals in 2004 and the national semifinals in 2006. From 2006-07, he was a national and divisional all-league selection. He also played for the Asylum in the indoor league, leading the team in scoring.
Padgett played collegiately at Fort Lewis and was a four-time all-conference selection, helping the Skyhawks reach the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament during the 2001 season. He played at Sandia HS from 1994 and for the Albuquerque United Football club from 1991-97. During that time, he was part of the Olympic Development Program as of member of the Region IV team and U.S. National Pool Team.
“I would also like to thank my loved ones, friends and supporters,” Padgett added. “They are a big reason that I have this opportunity.”