Posted: Jan 26, 2011 12:52 AM by Lee Douglas
Updated: Jan 26, 2011 4:41 AM
The high school basketball season is heading into the homestretch. This is certainly not the best time for a coaching change. However, Pueblo East high school had no choice.
Ben Garcia, the girls' basketball coach at East, coached for the last time this season on Tuesday afternoon. Garcia is director of operations of emergency management at the Pueblo Chemical Depot. Now his government job is calling the 56-year-old Garcia overseas. Specifically he is going to Kuwait where he will assist in the United States military transition out of Iraq.
Garcia told News First 5 Sports Director Lee Douglas, "The request has come in on numerous occasions to be able to go over there and support the troops. The government has been great to me. It's given me tons of opportunities to be able to coach. I think it's just a small token that I can give back a little bit and be able to support them." However, it's tough to leave the basketball team. "I've got mixed emotions" said Garcia. "I'm kind of excited about the new opportunity but it's sad to leave the kids in the middle of the season."
Assistant coach Molly Borgstedt will take over for Garcia. Garcia, a cancer survivor and also the girl's softball coach at East, says he plays to return to the Eagles next season.
East lost Tuesday's game 58-41 to Pueblo South.