Meet Marfa's First Female Athletic Director

MARFA, Texas (Local 2/Fox 24) - Over the last year, many milestones were made throughout Basin schools. Some of these reflecting school performance, and athletic wins. 

Marfa I.S.D., however, is changing the game by making a historic hire. They named Coach Linda Ojeda as the first female Athletic Director in the district's history. Even more impressive than her accomplishment, is her heart for the students in the classroom, and on the field.

"These were really the highlights of my coaching career," Ojeda said about watching her students succeed.

While coaching, she took Marfa's softball team to the regional finals for four years, as well as coming across huge successes as Marfa's vollyball and basketball coach.

Ojeda, recently turning in her "Coach" title for a new one when she took the District Athletic Director position back in January.

While she's part of a huge moment for the school, Ojeda says she doesn't a lot of attention. She wants to make the athletics department the best it can be as a whole.

"I guess it's a rare thing, I personally have not wanted to make it a big thing because when you put yourself out there and you take a chance, it's a big risk you're taking," she said.

Reality is, West Texas Athletic Departments are mostly ran by men. 

For a position like this, Local 2/Fox 24 looked into what District A.D.'s are making at nine of our district including our top two, Midland and Ector County.

Those salaries, ranging from $75,000/year in Coahoma, to $133,000/year at MISD. Ojeda, however, coming in under $70,000/year. But it's important to remember that she just recently took the position at the beginning of the calendar year. 

Stanton I.S.D. for example, hiring Mr. John Peterson as the A.D. back in 2008, and he was making less than $60,000/year. That has since changed to more than $75,000/year for the 2016-2017 school year.

Ojeda, however, making it clear that she doesn't want to be percieved differently because she's a woman.

"It might be a historic hire in our district, but I do know I have met at several coaching clinics women who are in this position in the state," she said.

Ojeda also talking to us about some new challenges she faces with the bigger responsibility. She says while the school searched for a new head football coach, many candidates expected to assume the Athletic Director role but Ojeda already took the job.

"I think that's the biggest challenge, respecting the position but also respecting the coaches and the needs we're going to have in football," she said.

Making football, and every other sport successful at Marfa I.S.D. is a huge priority Ojeda has. 

She says at the end of the day, her personal accomplishments aren't what she's most proud of, and it's not what's going to make the schools successful.

"You could be successful individually but that's really not the goal," she said. "We're trying to take a whole team to become the best in the state."

Ojeda will face her first football season this fall. She also works as an English teacher for the high school.

 


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