Ron Drake's rule at Pojoaque Valley officially started Wednesday.
The Ron Drake Rules will soon follow.
Pojoaque formally introduced the former Española Valley head coach as Juan "Pep" Alvarado's successor.
Drake brings an influx of coaching sage, having compiled a 104-32 record in five years with the Lady Sundevils, but just as much sanguine.
If Alvarado's coaching style is authoritative, Drake's is authoritarian in a way that would make Joseph Stalin blush.
Load up on the fries and Cokes, Elkette players. Text ad nausem in the offseason. Come basketball season, Drake said, his players will be on a strict nutritional plan and won't be allowed to have cellphones at team dinners, practice or games.
Having spent time in the Navy and done a tour on a ship during the Vietnam War, Drake has a penchant for being a disciplinarian.
That could be polarizing for a team that, at times during the 2011-12 season, didn't always respond to Alvarado's nudgings.
Alvarado said he didn't know whether the girls' temperament will mesh with Drake's hard-line stance.
"Back in the day, it used to be get out of the kitchen if you can't stand the heat or hit the highway," Alvarado said. "You used to speak when spoken to and now they speak without being spoken to."
Drake discussed as much with Pojoaque athletic director Matt Martinez, who assured him his style could get the Elkettes back to the AAA state title game.
"I said, 'What happens if I'm too disciplined and they quit?' " Drake said. "They said, 'Well, they don't want to follow the rules.' "
Just how strict are we talking?
Drake remembered a time during his first year at Española when a girl was slacking in the weight room.
"We watched her, and she'd go from station to station and never did anything. So I called her over and I said, 'You can go home now. Get your stuff. Go home, and don't come back here.' "
The girl, Janel Martinez, returned the next day, apologized to Drake and went on to have a solid career with the Lady Sundevils.
There's no telling the Elkettes players' reactions.
That question mark is one Drake is willing to deal with. What he wasn't willing to deal with was the instability that enveloped him at Española Valley.
One could make the case that jumping to Pojoaque is a lateral move in the twilight of Drake's career.
The point is hammered when considering Drake's stipend will be $4,200 compared to $6,400 at Española, unless Martinez can get the school board to approve an increase.
Further consider the talent at Pojoaque isn't on the level of Española, who returns all-state player Lauren Quintana. But the pluses proved too much.
The Elkettes are switching from District 5AAA to District 2AAA, making it easier for Drake to win with a less-talented, but veteran-loaded squad.
And working for Martinez, whom Drake considers a friend, was enticing.
It's obvious Martinez thinks highly of Drake. Two years ago, when the position was open, Martinez contacted Drake to gauge his interest, but his overture was rebuffed and Drake remained at Española.
Drake wasn't about to tell Martinez "no" twice.
"The opportunity doesn't knock twice," Drake said. "And it knocked twice this time, so I figured I'd better jump on it."
Contact Isaac Avilucea at 986-3032 or email@example.com.
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