ALAMOSA High School Principal Andy Lavier told stories of Erik Melgoza’s dedication to serving as the school’s athletic director, and his compassion for working with students, during a funeral service held Sunday at Alamosa High.
Students and colleagues joined family and friends to give final respects for Melgoza, who was in his fifth year as Alamosa High athletic director when he died Jan. 4 at age 54.
Students pay their respects to Melgoza
Lavier spoke of their close friendship and shared two stories from the pages of stories he said he could fill about Melgoza:
“When he came to Alamosa to be our athletic director in 2018, he admitted that he didn’t know much about gymnastics. We have a gymnastics team,” Lavier said. “He responded by asking questions, going to the meets, scheduling competitive meets with more schools on the Front Range. Then he got on the CHSAA gymnastics board and took a leadership position. I don’t know many people who can do that.”
“When a student moved to Alamosa two years ago from the Philippines,” Lavier said in telling the second story, “and approached him about starting a men’s volleyball team, Erik had to break the news to him that it’s extremely difficult and a lengthy process to start any new team, and despite volleyball being a very popular high school sport in the Philippines, it’s a start-up in the Colorado.
“So instead of ‘No being No,’ Erik worked with this young man to start a men’s club volleyball team, which he funded for two years out of his own pocket. It meant so much to this young man, who will be playing at the University of North Dakota next year and is having Erik’s initials embroidered on his college jersey. Not many people knew that – he just kept it to himself.”
Others shared stories of a coach who won more than 200 games and reached the pinnacle of his coaching career when he led the Lamar High Girls Basketball team to the state championship in 2017.
He was incoming president of the Colorado High School Coaches Association and judging by the number of coaches and fellow athletic directors who came to pay their respects, he was well-regarded by many across Colorado.
“He had a way of making you feel that you were very special to him,” Lavier said, “and he never asked for anything in return.”
Eric Melgoza is survived by: his parent Fred William Melgoza of Alamosa, CO; his children, Blayze Melgoza (Lisa) of Melissa, TX, Jordan Mallard (Jeremy) of Hasty, CO and Emily Melgoza of Alamosa, CO; his grandchildren, Deacon Mallard and Tre Mallard of Emma Mallard, J. J; and his brothers, Troy Melgoza of Pueblo, CO, Kelly Melgoza (Christa) of Lamar, CO, Damian Melgoza (Camie) of Gove, KS and Derek Melgoza of Cortez, CO. He is also survived by many extended family members and friends.