She remains at the school she grow up with as a teacher while in quest now of an administrative education license that could lead to principal or superintendent positions
By Arnie Leshin
After three successful seasons as head coach of the Santa Fe Indian School girl’s basketball team, Christie Abeyta said it was a great experience, but has other plans besides standing on the sidelines.
She said she’d like to pursue an administrative education license so that she could help further her teaching career. She’s not leaving the school she’s grown up with, just longing to lead a school someday in a greater capacity.
“Whether it be a principal or a superintendent,” Abeyta said, “I always wanted to do more. I feel there is such a need for strong leadership at all schools.”
She will continue as a teacher at Indian School as she moves forward in pursuit of her next goal.
She took over as head coach after assisting Cindy Roybal for three years as the Braves won one 3A championship and lost in the finals by one point to Lovington he next season.
When Roybal left to take the same role up at Espanola Valley, Abeyta applied for the post in 2013 and 2014 before getting hired in 2015. In three years, she took over the program she knew well and put together a 61-27 record that included impressive back-to-back seasons this past year and the year before.
In 2015-26, Her Braves reached the 4A semifinals. This past season, they went 25-5, won their first (5-4A) district title in seven years, and made it to the state quarterfinals.
“It was important for me to establish myself,” said Abeyta, “and get the program to where it was. And this year was an amazing one. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
There were also other matters she wanted to straighten out, as in her relationship, her family, her community, and cultural things. She pointed out that other things always appeared to be put on the back burner more than she would like. She mentioned that she found herself spending more time coaching and training players while seeing less of her family and friends.
“That’s right, while coaching, I missed too much family time,” she said, “and saw less of my family and friends. Now I will hopefully find the time.”
She added that it was difficult not to cry because of the relationships she built with her players, plus she didn’t inform them of her decision until they finished their summer camp session.
That was her last duty as head coach. She traveled with seven players to the camp in Hobbs, and did not lose a game, although she played 4A and 5A junior varsity teams. Next season, the Braves return to 3A.
Now Indian School is in search of a new head coach for the girl’s program. There are several good players set to return, they’ve already had good coaching, and their state-of-the-art field house is one of the best in the state, plus they receive good support from the school, both home and away.