By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University has filled one of its two soccer coaching vacancies.
Ray Nause, 43, was named women’s coach on Thursday to replace Travis McCorkle, who started the ENMU women’s program in 2003 and the men’s program the following year. McCorkle was hired as women’s coach at Lone Star Conference rival Angelo State in June.
A native of the Cleveland area, Nause (pronounced “Noss”) has coached club soccer in the Albuquerque area for the past seven years, working with the New Mexico Youth Soccer Association. Prior to that, he had 13 years of college coaching experience at the NCAA Division III level.
McCorkle led the Zias to a 40-47-4 record in five seasons, including 14-28-4 in the LSC.
Nause said he got to know McCorkle through his work with New Mexico youth soccer, and wanted to get back into college coaching. He will come in with essentially a full roster left behind by McCorkle.
“I’m looking forward to having the chance to work with them,” Nause said of his squad. “While I’ve been out of the college game the past seven years, (the recruiting aspect) is not foreign to me.”
He served as the men’s head coach at Southern Vermont College from 1991-95, and was women’s head coach at Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y., from 1995-99 and at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., from 1999-2001. He also had a previous stint as an assistant at Russell Sage.
“I think Eastern is a great opportunity,” he said. “It’s a tremendous value with strong academic programs.
“Travis has done a good job here, and I’m looking forward to building on what he’s done.”
ENMU athletic director Mike Maguire said he thinks Nause is a good fit.
“I think Ray will make great connections in New Mexico and the surrounding states,” Maguire said. “It’s a good hire for us.
“Travis did a great job of getting the program organized and off the ground.”
ENMU is also looking to replace men’s coach Carlos Elizondo, who took a position last month as director of coaching for Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Youth Soccer. Elizondo took over the men’s program from McCorkle in 2005 and compiled a 16-35-5 mark in three seasons.
Athletes for ENMU fall sports are scheduled to report on Aug. 6, with practice beginning the following day.