By Mike Magers
Longtime Clovis and Clayton girls basketball coach Miles Watters achieved his 500th New Mexico win on 12/30/06. His Clovis girls had just defeated Alamogordo. He would go on to record 526 wins in the state, first in the state at the time, and now second only to coach Ron Drakes as of the 2014-2015 season’s end. 153 of those wins would come at his last New Mexico position in Clovis and 373 were earned in Clayton.
Before coaching at Clayton, he had also coached in college at Lubbock Christian, his alma mater, and coached boys at Sudan as well as some boys seasons in Clayton. After retiring from his position in Clovis, he left coaching for a year before taking a position in nearby Farwell, Texas where his girls teams would go on to win at least about 90 more games, pushing his overall career win record to over 700.
His Clayton teams would take the state title eleven times, while setting a state record with eight consecutive championship wins. The Clayton teams won one more title, a perfect 30-0 season in 2004-2005. As of the end of the 2014-2015 season his twelve state championships led all girls coaches in this category by a large margin over the nearest active coach.
(2005 Clovis girls championship team. Image credit: ChuckFerrisSports.com)
He played multiple high school sports in Clayton, but settled on basketball as a college pursuit. When he attended Lubbock Christian where he would play for his full four years. Basketball attracted him because of its constant changes, requiring him to always try to anticipate what was going to happen next. He tried his hand at coaching soon after graduation and found that he liked it.
As a coach, he tried to instill in his players the value of personal sacrifice and hard work, that each player and position had a specific role to play in the team’s success.
In addition to the above-mentioned records, Coach Watters has been honored as Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame Coach of the Year in 1989 and was named Coach of the Year in girls basketball by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association in 1986, 1992 and 2006.
At this writing, he is now retired from active coaching.