Marfa ISD has new leadership atop its athletic program.
Linda Ojeda, who’s been a part of the Marfa coaching staff for nine years, has been named Marfa’s new athletic director and Arturo Alferez, a Shorthorns’ football assistant and head boys basketball coach, is the school’s new head football coach, the school district confirmed Wednesday.
Former Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Wayland Jenkins departed the district in December after two years in Marfa.
Alferez was named Marfa’s interim head football coach back in November after Jenkins was suspended for the rest of the season for fielding an ineligible player in six regular season games.
Under Alferez’s guidance, Marfa defeated Santa Anna in a Class 1A Division I bi-district playoff game. The Shorthorns were knocked out of the playoffs in the regional semifinals by Garden City.
“I’m inheriting a great program and a great group of kids,” Alferez said. “I take it like I coach every sport.
“I get to see (the kids) on the court, in the classroom and in the weight room. They’re seeing a familiar face and someone they can come to. We’re doing this together.”
Alferez confirmed Wednesday that the Shorthorns’ other assistant football coach from a season ago, Adam Ramirez, will be on his staff next season.
“I had done 11-man football at Presidio a way’s back,” Alferez said. “The learning experience (with six-man football) was a little bit different. When you have a great school and support from the students, it makes it more fun.
“Six-man was a shocker to me only because of the rules and the more strategy behind the game. I picked it up quick and now it’s just a matter of putting it all together.”
Both Alferez and Ojeda assumed their current positions in January. Alferez will remain the head boys basketball coach and is coaching the Lady Shorthorns’ softball team this season.
Ojeda, who coached the softball team for the previous eight seasons, is now the team’s assistant coach. Ojeda said Wednesday that the district may look for a new head softball coach for next season with her remaining as an assistant.
Ojeda led the Lady Shorthorns’ softball team to the Region I final from 2007 to 2009 and the Region I semifinals in 2010.
Ojeda also will continue to coach the girls basketball program and be an assistant coach for the volleyball team in addition to her new role. Ojeda is the first female athletic director in the district’s history and said she’s been interested in the job since Jeff Jones left for Garden City in 2015.
These moves make Marfa one of a few schools to have two people handling the head football coach and athletic director jobs.
In addition, it may seem like Ojeda and Alferez don’t get much down time with their responsibilities. Both Alferez and Ojeda said it’s worth it for the kids to have familiar faces guiding them.
“There’s a mutual respect,” Ojeda said. “It’s not a one-sided deal.”
Ojeda said that the district was looking into hiring more coaches to help round out the Shorthorns’ athletic program.