I’ve had the privilege this last year to co-write the book series on Coach Bob Sepulveda. Book 1 is released and we are finalizing book 2 to be released very soon. Along that journey I’ve had the opportunity to meet, talk with and hear the stories of the many coaches, athletes and others that have contributed to the history of New Mexico interscholastic athletics and those of Alamogordo High School from 1912 to 1995 specifically. There are many who played a valuable role in that history and one such person mentioned over 18 times in various chapters of book 1 in our series is Coach Jack Geron.
Coach Jack Geron was born on December 8, 1939 in Roscoe, Texas to Jessie and Madeline Geron. Jack D Geron, 81, passed away on March 2, 2021 in Alamogordo, New Mexico. There are numerous positive references to his coaching of both Football and Track and Field in the New Mexico Newspaper archives. I have notes of many great stories of his relationship to his student athletes and the respect he garnered by his peers, as recited to me over the many hours by Coach Bob Sepulveda in research of the book series.
Coach Jack Geron first came on the athletics scene at Alamogordo High as a successful High School student athlete. He was referenced in many articles in 1958 related to his accomplishments as an athletic competitor and was referred to in the press as “Alamo Jack Geron” or “Alamo Jack”.
During his career as a high school athlete at Alamogordo he was a 1958 District and State medal winner. Jack Geron was not only a star at Track & Field but he also lettered in Baseball for 2 years and was an All-State Football Player who lettered for Alamogordo 3 years and lettered in Basketball as well. He led Alamogordo in scoring and yards rushed during the 1958 football season.
His Track & Field Career during the 1958 season stood out. The Alamogordo Tigers had their strongest showing of the 50s at the district meet placing 2nd in a competitive placing of 52.5 points. Las Cruces edged a win at 54 points, 3rd place went to Cobre with 44 points.
The 1958 Tigers team showed strong momentum with 1st place rankings in 8 events. Seven team members qualified for state at the district placing 1st place in each district event to include: Richard Worley, 1st Place, 100 Yard Dash, George Janes, 1st Place Pole Vault and Javelin, Tom Gilmore, 1st Place High Jump, Howard Hayes, 1st Place, High Jump, Jack Geron, 1st Place Broad Jump, 440 Yard Relay Team; 1st Place, Worley, Charlie Swaggert, Hayes, Jack Geron and 880 Yard Relay Team, 1st Place; Bob Dow, Swaggert, Jack Geron, and Richard Worley. Due to the fine performance Jack Geron and his teammates above were off to the state meet.
Coach Hugh Hackett’s Highlands Cinder men took the title one more time with a record 101 1/5 points win to take their 7th state title. Alamogordo Tigers improved from their most recent state competitions placing 7th out of 25 teams with a score of 12.5 points. Jack Geron contributed to that improved showing at the state tournament in 1958.
The State Tournament performance as an Alamogordo Tiger athlete in 1958 placed the team of Richard Worley, Charles Swaggerty, Howard Hayes, and Jack Geron as the 4th Place finishing team as the 440 Relay Team and 4th Place as the 220 Yard Relay Team.
Jack Geron went on to support Alamogordo in the years to follow as a Coach for 20 years . Jack came back to Alamogordo as the assistant football and track and field coach under the reign of Coach Bob Sepulveda. In partnership and under the direction of Coach Sepulveda the partnership won awards in a variety of Track & Field meets.
During the season that Coach Bob Sepulveda was the head Varsity Football Coach, “Coach Dick Strong was in charge of the defense…Jerry Koller managed the defensive backs and kickers and Gordie Crammer coached the offensive line. Coach Jack Geron managed the offensive backfield,”
Coach Sepulveda transitioned from the Varsity Football Coach to the Varsity Track and Field Coach the remainder of his career after the 1971/72 season. Coach Jack Geron assisted the varsity team over his 20 years as a coach and also assisted Coach Sepulveda in track in field to win many district and state titles.
Scott and Susan Hutt recounted their time at Alamogordo High in the book Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days and recounted of the 1971/72 season on page 226 of the book. Coach Bob Sepulveda had been made the head varsity football coach that year and Scott Hutt reflected… “I remember the day he (Coach Sepulveda) was selected as the head football coach. We runners were so happy for him and told him so. He acknowledged our thanks but told us “he would still be keeping an eye on us” tracksters who were in our off-season. And he did. He surrounded himself with good coaches and would always let them do their jobs. With Coaches Strong, Jack Geron, and Columbus, they were an unbeatable team and their enthusiasm spilled over to us athletes.”
Coach Geron is most fondly remembered for his years of teaching Physical Education at the mid-high and for his passion in breeding Chihuahuas.
More photos and history of the sports programs of Southern New Mexico and those that made a difference to Alamogordo Athletics are found in the book series by Author Chris Edwards titled Coach Robert Sepulveda: The Early Days. The book may be purchased at independent books stores and at Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico and sold worldwide on Amazon.com at https://smile.amazon.com/Coach-Robert-Louis-Sepulveda-DaysTM/dp/B08CJP3GQ4
Remembrance by Author Chris Edwards 2nd Life Media.com