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Gary Schuster named to NMAA Hall of Fame Class of 2022

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A former athletic director, football coach and track & field coach at Wingate High School has become the 113th inductee into the New Mexico Activities Association Hall of Fame.

Gary Schuster will be among the Class of 2022 inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Albuquerque during the State Basketball Championships in March.

Schuster served the northwest part of New Mexico as a coach, an assistant principal, and athletic director for over 32 years.

Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Schuster graduated from Denver City High School in 1975, earned his bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University in 1981 and his master’s degree in 1988 from Western University.

In high school, Schuster competed in football and track & field, and was a member of the school’s student council. At Southwest Texas State, he worked for the “University Star” as the sports editor.

Schuster started his career in education at Thoreau High School in 1984, where he taught English and coached football and track & field. Then, in 1987, Schuster moved to Gallup High School and, for three years, guided the Bengals football and track & field teams, while also teaching English in the classroom.

In 1990, Schuster began his administrative career at Wingate High School, where, over the next 13 years, he served as assistant principal, athletic director, football coach, and track & field coach. Schuster left New Mexico in 2003 to take the District Athletic Director position at Window Rock School in Arizona for one year, but returned to Gallup High School in 2004 as the school’s athletic administrator and assistant principal, a position he held until 2007.

Schuster’s first position as principal came in 2007 at Church Rock Elementary, where he served the elementary students of Church Rock for three years. In 2010, Schuster accepted the position as District Athletic Director for Gallup McKinley County Schools, holding that position for three years. From 2013-2016, Schuster was the grant program manager for Gallup McKinley County Schools, writing grants for the school district.

Over the years, Schuster has served on numerous committees, including the NMAA Commission, the New Mexico High School Coaches Association  Board of Directors, the New Mexico Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors, the NMAA Sportsmanship Committee, the NMAA Hardship Committee, and the NMAA Track & Field Sports Specific Committee.  He also served as the District 1-AAA Chairperson and was a member of the New Mexico Officials Association for 20 years as a track and field official. Schuster represented the sport of track and field on the NMOA Executive Board for two years.

Schuster also garnered several awards over his 32 years of service, including the New Mexico Assistant Principal of the Year in 2000 (Wingate High School), District 1-AAA Coach of the Year, NMHSCA Milestone Awards for Levels 1 thru 4, Athletic Director of the Year, the Natural Athlete’s Strength Association Hall of Fame in 2010 and the NMAA Distinguished Service Award.

Schuster and his wife, Beatrice, have two children, Dean and Ronna, and a grandson, Cassian.