Ignacio School District Superintendent Rocco Fuschetto confirmed via e-mail Monday that a search for someone to succeed Rocky Cundiff as Ignacio High School athletic director will resume and intensify after the holiday weekend.
Cundiff, who took over for Melanie Taylor following the 2011-12 school year, stepped down after seven seasons in charge and retired last month. With one courted candidate having withdrawn from the process, Cundiff indicated any worthy selection would have to put everything into the job in order to help boost Bobcat athletics.
“Never be satisfied, buddy,” Cundiff said via phone later Monday morning. “Never be satisfied. Have we made strides? Yes. Can we make more? Yes. My advice would be just to put your heart into it. As long as you have a purpose and put your heart into it, life is good.”
A three-sport ’Cat himself prior to graduating in 1982, Cundiff reflected upon his tenure as athletic director and, for the most part, seemed satisfied that IHS athletics is heading in the right direction to better mold and motivate the school’s student-athletes.
“Pretty much hit most of my goals,” said Cundiff. “I think our weight room is way up there right now – that was big, trying to argue for that and it’s starting to get used a lot more now, so we like that. I didn’t get the press box built, and that was one I didn’t get done, but as far as holding to my standards my goal was to have coaches there that I think care about kids. That was No. 1, that I pushed.”
And for that there was a good reason. Under Cundiff’s guidance, the Bobcats qualified for Colorado High School Activities Association Class 2A boys basketball state tournaments and three CHSAA Class 2A girls basketball state tournaments. IHS also had a number of good seasons in baseball, as well as in track and field at state meets.
“The most fun I ever had was coaching and teaching,” he explained. “Impacted kids a lot more than I thought. Athletic-directing was alright because I got to be my own ‘purpose’ – like, what I wanted the Ignacio Bobcats to be – you know? So I got to push that a little bit, but still, definitely teaching and coaching.”
Asked why he chose to relinquish the reins, Cundiff – speaking while in between baling hay and taking his daughter to her driving test – indicated that, for himself, the timing just seemed right.
“It was just time for me to make a change,” he stated. “I’ve had my priorities my whole life, but God and family’s first, so I figured it was time to help my family. I was able to retire and so I thought, ‘I need to do it or I’ll have regrets later.’”
Durango Herald sports reporter Brendan Ploen contributed to this report.