ERIK Melgoza, whose infectious style as athletic director at Alamosa High School during the past four years endeared him to many, died Wednesday from traumatic head injury suffered from an accident at his home on New Year’s Day.
The shocking announcement came via email Wednesday evening from Alamosa High School Principal Andy Lavier who wrote to Alamosa High School parents:
“It is with a heavy heart that I let you know that Alamosa High School Athletic Director Erik Melgoza has passed away after suffering a traumatic head injury from an accident at home on New Year’s Day. AHS will have counselors on hand for students and staff as needed. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Alamosa High School Principal”
For those who worked with Melgoza and those who spent time around him, which was many, it was a devastating blow to the new year, one that Melgoza greeted with optimism through his Twitter account. “Mean Moose Nation Let’s Have a Stellar Year…Great Year to be a Mean Moose,” he wrote.
He also tweeted along on Christmas Day, and it was through his daily Twitter posts that he worked to spread his pride for the Mean Moose Nation, part of his constant efforts to promote and support the student-athletes and student body at Alamosa High.
“Heartbroken by the passing of a good friend and Coach,” wrote Aaron Tuioti-Mariner. “You will truly be missed. My thoughts and Prayers go out to the Melgoza family.”
“We understand the shock and tragedy of Erik’s sudden loss,” said Alamosa School District Superintendent Diana Jones. “Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.
“Erik’s impact on the Alamosa School District will be long lasting. He will be greatly missed. We offer our greatest sympathy to all who are impacted by this tragedy.”
Melgoza, 54, leaves behind two grown children, Jordan Mallard and Blayze Melgoza, and a teenage daughter, Emily, who is a sophomore at Alamosa High. His father and brother and grandchildren also survive him.
Reaction to his death reflected the impact he made on Moose athletics over the past five years.
Melgoza arrived in Alamosa from his beloved Lamar when he was named associate principal and activities director in 2018-19. This year he was voted president-elect for the Colorado High School Activities Association Board of Directors.
A veteran coach, he had his Alamosa High girls basketball team sitting at 5-2 heading into the holiday break. The team will resume play at Sanford High on Friday and then home on Saturday afternoon against Delta High. Lavier confirmed Thursday that both contests will proceed.
“I like to see people succeed,” Melgoza said upon his arrival in Alamosa. He then took a series of steps, including the recent purchase of a new activities bus, to live up to that word in his efforts to bring excellence to Alamosa High.
Mean Moose Nation now mourns his death.
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