Rio Rancho HS baseball coach placed on paid leave, cheer coach suspended
RIO RANCHO, N.M. — We are learning more about the actions taken by Rio Rancho Schools against two coaches. This involves the boy’s baseball program and the cheer program.
KOB 4 is still working to learn more details, but we do know one coach has been placed on paid administrative leave and another coach has been suspended. These two cases are not related.
One of those longstanding coaches is Ron Murphy, the head boy’s baseball coach at Rio Rancho High School. Murphy has won the most games as a high school baseball coach in state history.
“I think it is amazing that he has had as many wins that he has had. Not only that, but he has touched so many lives. I know so many players to this day still love to get into contact with him,” said Lauren Romero, who went to RRHS and her brother played for Murphy.
That long legacy may be tainted after the district put Murphy on paid administrative leave.
In a statement to KOB 4 a spokesperson for the district says that “Rio Rancho Public Schools is currently conducting a personnel investigation involving Mr. Murphy.”
Those who have experience with the coach are surprised by the news.
“The truth always comes to light, and I am not worried one bit that he has done anything wrong,” Romero said.
KOB 4 also spoke with a few others who weren’t as surprised but did not want to comment at this time.
On social media, Murphy thanked everyone for their support saying, “I can’t respond to every text and now stories are popping up untrue. The truth is this is about facility use during our fall season. Details to follow when I am allowed to explain.”
“He knew how to bring out the best in the boys specifically my brother so he may have been tough, but he was also very… he took opportunities to make moments teachable moments and my family has just adored him,” Romero said.
Rio Rancho Public Schools has also confirmed a different coach has been suspended.
Wendy Lopez has been the varsity cheer coach at Rio Rancho High School for more than 10 seasons, racking up a fair share of state titles and ranking in national competitions multiple years in a row.
The district sent KOB 4 a statement saying, “We cannot discuss specifics regarding personnel matters. That being said, Ms. Lopez is not on administrative leave. Rather, she has been placed on a temporary suspension from her coaching duties.”
According to the district, Lopez will be back to coaching soon. KOB 4 reached out to both coaches but was not able to get a comment.