EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A new era of Eastlake High School football has officially kicked off. Ruben Rodriguez is the new head football coach and athletic coordinator at Eastlake.
KTSM 9 Sports first reported the hire Tuesday morning. On Wednesday, Socorro Independent School District [SISD] introduced Rodriguez at Eastlake in front of his players, staff, and faculty members.
Rodriguez, who has coached at Eastlake since 2010 as the offensive coordinator, takes over for JJ Calderon, who stepped down earlier this month to accept the SISD athletic director job. Calderon, along with Rodriguez, have coached the Falcons since the school began competing in varsity football in 2010.
The Falcons finished the 2018 season 5-6 (2-3), but qualified for the playoffs before losing to Amarillo Caprock in the first round of the playoffs. That is something Rodriguez would like to see changed at Eastlake. He wants to make deeper runs in the playoffs.
“It’s pretty set in stone. We’ve had a great plan coming into the offseason, we’ve had a great summer, we’re competing in state tournaments and 7-on-7 tournaments,” said Rodriguez. “I just think the overall perspective of getting over that third round [of the playoffs], that’s one thing we want to change. As far as the expectations, they’re still at a high level. We’re going to produce at a high level.”
Since their first year as a varsity program, Rodriguez has helped guide Eastlake to a 52-30 record with two area championships, five bi-district championships, and three district titles.
Eastlake will open the 2019 season under Rodriguez on Friday, August 30 against Canutillo. The season premiere of the award-winning 9 Overtime will air on Friday, August 30 as well.