Northern New Mexico College Director of Athletics, Ryan Cordova. announced today the hiring of Northern alumnus, Mario Caetano to take over the Women’s Basketball program after the resignation of previous head coach Tony Gallegos earlier this academic year (December).
The Lady Eagle’s finished 5-18 overall this season, with 4 of the 5 wins coming during Caetano’s reign as interim head coach.
Mario Caetano comes back to Española after spending two seasons with a nationally ranked EYBL Nike Circuit AAU basketball program, Vegas Elite Basketball Club (VEBC).
While with VEBC, Caetano coached numerous NCAA Division I prospects and had the opportunity to work along-side former WNBA & NBA basketball players.
Caetano began his coaching career as the Associate Head Men’s Basketball Coach at NNMC (2013), where he was known for his recruiting and player development skills. Caetano was a major reason for the success of the men’s program, specifically during the 2014 season.
The Eagles won the Aii conference tournament earning their first and only National Tournament appearance. In 2015 Caetano helped lead the Eagles to their first 20 win season and a second straight Conference Championship appearance, losing to eventual Champion Ashford University, in triple overtime.
“I am extremely humbled and excited to come back to Northern New Mexico College as the next head women’s basketball coach,” said Mario Caetano. “To get the opportunity to give back to the institution and the community that helped jump start my career is a once in a lifetime chance!
“I want to thank the NNMC administration, President Bailey, the entire athletic staff, and athletic director Mr. Ryan Cordova for this opportunity. I can’t wait to get started and represent this program to its finest! Go Eagles!”
A native of Albuquerque, NM, Caetano graduated from Del Norte HS (2006) helping the Knights to their best record in school history, and their only State Championship game appearance.
Coach Caetano received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrated Studies in 2012 from Northern New Mexico College and received his Masters of Science from Ohio University in 2015 in Recreation and Sports Sciences.
”We are excited about Coach Caetano accepting this position,” said Director of Athletics Ryan Cordova. “His 7 years of coaching experience, numerous post-season appearances, a national tournament appearance, recognizes him among the best young coaches out there today. Mario has a strong moral character, which fits right in with our Eagle Pride.
“He is not only a winner on the court, but understands the importance of his team’s performance in the classroom and the community. We are happy to have Mario back at the institution where he began.”
Caetano is married to former Eagle standout, Shaniqua Caetano from Oxnard, CA. They formerly resided in Las Vegas, NV with their son Makai (2), and dog Cubby (7).