Story by Michaela Leach
Jason Flores has returned to Durango to continuing coaching women’s basketball, but this time, he will be head coach of the Lady Skyhawks.
Flores first began his coaching career at FLC as the assistant women’s basketball coach from 2000 to 2004.
In 2004, Flores left FLC to pursue an assistant coaching position at University of Nebraska, Omaha, a division one school. Despite enjoying his time coaching in Omaha, he felt that it was the right time to return to FLC.
“I’ve always felt like there was a part of me here,” Flores said.
Despite his experience, Flores still faces many obstacles coming back to FLC. Flores took over the team after five seniors, that contributed to making the team stronger, graduated, some of whom were the strongest players on the team, he said.
“So the challenge of those high expectations, with a relatively inexperienced roster was definitely one of the big hurdles that we had to get over,” Flores said.
The season is entirely different, with a whole new system: new coaches and new girls, said Katerina Garcia, senior point guard of the team.
The Lady Skyhawks start of the season was tough because of being on the road, but there have been major improvements under Flores’s coaching.
Since the start of 2013 the team has played six games and has won five, Flores gives all of the credit to the players.
“I give them all the credit because they hung in there,” he said. “They didn’t stop working, they just rammed through those walls and they kept getting better and better.”
Gary Hunter, the athletic director at FLC is very pleased with Flores’ performance as the new head coach.
Though the team did not start the season with a superb win-loss record, they continue to improve against high quality competition, Hunter said.
The improvements stem from good coaching and the team coming together and playing hard for Flores, he said.
Many of the women on the team feel that Flores has come to be an excellent coach.
“My favorite part about Coach Flores is that he truly cares about us,” said Ashley Kuchar, a junior. “He is very approachable, understanding and an all-around great person.”
The Lady Skyhawks’ season will end in early March, giving Flores and the team more time to continue improving and moving forward.