By Gary Mitchell
Friends and coaches were stunned by the death of Clovis High School volunteer assistant football coach Pete L. Hurst, who died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack at his home.
“I’ve known Pete for a long time,” said Clovis High School athletic director Dale Fullerton. “He played football for my father-in-law, Carl Richardson, at Eastern New Mexico University years ago. I can’t say enough for what Pete did for us as a volunteer coach. He’ll be greatly missed by the coaches and all the kids he associated with. It was such a shock. He was out there with the kids yesterday (Monday).
“There’s just not an easy way for families to deal with this. It’s a terrible thing. He was like one of our family members.”
Memorial services for Hurst, 70, will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church in Clovis.
Hurst is survived by his wife, Joyce, a son and a daughter and three grandchildren.
Clovis head football coach Eric Roanhaus said his friend and coaching companion will be missed.
“It was a big shock to me when they called me,” he said. “Those things are hard to handle. The kids have lost a great coach, and I lost a good friend.”
Hurst graduated from Clovis High School in 1950 and from Eastern New Mexico University in 1954.
He was an offensive guard on the ENMU football team from 1950 through 1953 and was named All-New Mexico Athletic Conference player in 1952 and 1953.
He coached high school football for 42 years, 25 as a head coach, in New Mexico and Texas from 1957 through 1995. He served as the backfield coach at ENMU in 1996 and the last seven years as a volunteer coach at Clovis High.
During that time, he was on the coaching staff of two state championship teams — one at Cuero, Texas, and the other at Clovis.
Most recently, the longtime coach was inducted into the ENMU Greyhound Hall of Honor in 2002.
“We’re all better people by having been associated with Pete,” Roanhaus said. “He was fun to be around. He was a good coach, a great addition to our staff. He’ll be missed by our kids and our coaches. He’ll be missed by those kids who won’t have the opportunity to share his experience and personality.”
Fullerton said Hurst was a special person.
“Pete was liked and respected by all the coaches in the area,” Fullerton said. “We feel for his family. It’s a tough time for them. We’ll stand by them any way we can.”