Athletic director Jarrod Storey reacts to a Lady Warriors’ win during Socorro’s championship run to the District 3-3A title.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain photos

Socorro High School athletic director Jarrod Storey is stepping down from his position after accepting a new job with the Los Lunas school system.

Storey’s resignation on June 21 ended months of speculation as to whether or not he might again assume the added role of girls basketball coach after a miraculous ending to the 2022-23 basketball season.

The end of Lady Warrior’s season last year was straight out of Hollywood as coach Bill Bailey resigned citing “personal issues” and leaving Socorro at 3-17 without experienced guidance heading into District 3-3A play.

Rather than throw lead assistant coach Brittany McDaniel to the wolves, Storey stepped in and, along with assistant coach Brisa Garcia started the biggest turnaround in New Mexico girls basketball.

Jarrod Storey led Socorro’s Lady Warriors to a miracle turnaround and the District 3-3A championship.

Storey stepped into the role almost seamlessly, and when Socorro banged out a 61-45 road win against Hatch Valley to open league play, district coaches took notice. Some people thought the win was a fluke and that Socorro had caught the Lady Bears off guard, but the confidence that had been lacking suddenly bubbled to the surface.

Cobre was next as the Lady Warriors prevailed at home with a 65-49 victory, but it was Socorro’s 31-29 win over league favorite Hot Springs that tipped the scales that led to a 6-1 district record and both the regular season title and district tournament championship.

The Lady Warriors’ season ended in the state tournament against eventual state champion Tohatchi.

Despite Storey saying he would be looking for a girls basketball coach, there was hope he would again pick up the program’s reins.

“Building that relationship with the girls was, I think, the coolest part about it, so, when I took over the girls job, you know, especially with the issues that stemmed from our prior coach, it was about building that relationship with them and by the end of the year, they came to believe in themselves and each other,” Storey said.

Family and logistics are pulling Storey away from Socorro. He and his wife, Ashley, had their first child, Stasia, during the basketball season, and before that, the couple purchased a home in Los Lunas.

Storey will continue his career as an administrator after being hired as an assistant principal at Los Lunas Middle School. He’s close enough to his new job that he can bicycle to school, and he worked there as a teacher before coming to Socorro.

“It’s tough because I would love to coach the girls for another year, but I got to put my daughter first,” Storey said.

Serving as Socorro’s athletic director was Storey’s first administrative position, and he acknowledged he knew a lot about the rules of the New Mexico Activities Association. Still, he was wet behind the ears regarding the ins and outs of daily administration and finance.

“I want to thank Superintendent Ron Hendrix for allowing me to grow in my career. Then there’s Denise Cannon, Kim Ortiz, Rhiannon Crespin, Joni Mauldin, Christine Peguero, and Josh Martinez; they all did a great job supporting me and being a new administrator. There were a lot of speed bumps and things that I didn’t know. And they were really patient with me until I could figure things out.

Rhiannon is one of the main ones that were very, very, very patient with me,” Storey said. “My only regret is this opportunity for me didn’t come along sooner, so the administration wouldn’t be under pressure looking for a replacement.”

Coaches wanted

Storey’s departure comes on the heels of boys basketball J.J. Griego’s quiet and unannounced resignation several weeks ago. That’s left Socorro basketball in a lurch, with the opportunity of summer practice days quickly ticking away.

Interviews were expected for three coaching finalists for the boys position, and Storey was unsure of the immediate status of a girls coach hiring