Carthel looking to turn around West Texas A&M football

CNJ staff

CANYON, Texas — Former Eastern New Mexico University football coach Don Carthel has returned to the Lone Star Conference.

Carthel was introduced Wednesday as the new head coach at West Texas A&M University to succeed Ronnie Jones, who resigned last week after a university investigation concluded that he used state and school resources for personal gain.

“Don Carthel has a proven record, a passion for coaching and a commitment to winning,” WT president Dr. Russell Long said Wednesday night in a release from the WT sports information office. “He has a strong support base in this area and is well-known as a man of principle and integrity.

“I have every confidence that he will field a competitive team we can all be proud of.”

The 52-year-old Carthel, who had a 44-28-1 record in seven seasons at ENMU (1985-91), resigned as head coach of the Arena Football League2 Amarillo Dusters on Tuesday to accept the position at WT.

“Don has a history of winning wherever he has been and he has done it with class, integrity and focus on the student-athlete,” WT athletic director Ed Harris said. “He is a great fit for WT and I look forward to watching his teams compete for years to come.”

A native of Friona, Carthel played four years at ENMU (1970-73) as a center and kicker and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in physical education in 1974. He earned his master’s in P.E. at ENMU a year later.

“My goal is to put together a great staff, one that will be in it for the kids, and who are great recruiters,” Carthel said in the release. “We’re going to coach as hard as anybody in the LSC. We’ve got to evaluate the talent we have on campus now and figure out what we need to get to put a winning football team on the field in August.”

Carthel spent two seasons as an assistant at Texas-El Paso before coming to ENMU. After several years away from football, he returned as a volunteer assistant as LSC member Abilene Christian.

He was in his second season with the Dusters, who won the Intense Football League championship in 2004 before the circuit disbanded after only one season. Amarillo joined AFL2 this season and currently has a 2-1 record.

WT, which went 2-8 a year ago and was 5-27 in Jones’ three seasons, graduated 17 seniors from its 2004 squad but returns nine starters on offense and six on defense.