Mike Enrightand Cavemen WrestlingBy Don EskinsWhen it comes to discussing some of Carlsbad's most prolific coaches the Cavern City must not forget former wrestling coach Mike Enright.Enright, who came to Carlsbad High School in the mid 1960's would lay the groundworkto build the Cavemen into one of the state's most recognizable and respected programs.But time does move on and so did Enright. The 'Secret of his Success'After moving to the Indian Capital of the World during the 1970's, Gallup-New Mexico, itwas really surprisingto learn that Enright was coaching football and wrestling at Gallup High School.It seemed strange to think of the CHS coaching icon being dressed in Orange and Black. After all,the name Enright andCarlsbad Cavemen Wrestling had become somewhat synonymous. One gorgeous Saturday afternoon,while out for a ride,I spotted coach Enrightexiting Gallup High School so I changed my route and went over to say hello.After sharing a few stories and laughinga bit about the old days at CHS theformer Caveman coachsaid goodbye and turned to get in his truck. But there was one morequestion that Iwanted to ask him, so I did. "Mike you've runsuccessful programs everywhere you've been,” I said. “Just what is your philosophy when it comes to coaching and working with kids?"Enrightcame back over to my car, leaned over,and witha smileon his facesaid, "It's easy. Idon't think you can be disrespectful to kidsand expect themto competefor you."Mike's comment,as short and simple as it was, really said a lot about the relationship hefelt coaches should havewhile workingwithkids.With hard work and high expectations should also come encouragementand respect. 'Hall of Honor'Coach Enright used that philosophy to record three state championships at Carlsbad
High School, 1968-70-71,and another in 1985 in Farmington. When he finally retired he had accumulated an astonishing 222-35 won lost record. Recognized for his accomplishments he was inducted into the New Mexico Coaches Association's Hall of Honor in 1993and the New Mexico Coaches Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004.On a side note the Cavemen have won only six other state grappling titles since Enright left Carlsbad. George Frederick piloted CHS to state titles in 1976 and 77 and Don Owen led the 'Big Blue Wrestlers' to state championships in 1989-95-96 and 97.In some ways you might say Enright had a hand in all nine of Carlsbad High's state championships. Frederick and Owen, former Cavemen wrestlers themselves, were both products of his program.