By Jesse Gallegos
Luna Community College
Larry Archuleta will be 66 years old next month. But the legendary baseball coach still works out as if he were 36.
Archuleta, who once played for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, is a student at Luna Community College as he is taking a self-directed weightlifting class at the Gerald Ortega Wellness Center.
“I love it over here,” says Archuleta. “It’s one of the better facilities I’ve ever been at. The people here are friendly, the atmosphere is great and they keep the place very clean.”
Because Archuleta is over 55, a semester’s worth of workouts come at a price tag of only $28. Anyone interested in registering for PE 112 and 113 on the main campus for this semester has until March 22 to do so.
“I’m a firm believer in staying fit and staying in shape,” says Archuleta, who admits like many people, that he gained some weight over Christmas break.
“When I was coaching, there was nothing I wouldn’t ask my kids do that I wouldn’t do. I would run sprints, do crunches and lift weights with them every year until I retired.”
A 1965 Robertson High graduate, Archuleta was an all-state student-athlete in football and baseball. He was also an all-district player in basketball.
After playing one year for John Donnelly and the Highlands University baseball team, he was recruited to play for the Albuquerque Dukes (now the Isotopes), an AA pro team under the Dodgers back then.
“I was a shortstop and played some second base,” says Archuleta.
But like many young men during that era, Archuleta was drafted to the Vietnam War.
“I was in the armed forces for two years but I never went to Vietnam, I got to play baseball for EUROSA (an all-star Army team in Europe),” says Archuleta.
After this, he was back in Vegas and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Highlands. After a one year teaching and coaching stint at Valley Junior High in El Valle, Archuleta spent the next 24 years at Robertson. Archuleta went 295-104 in 19 seasons as the head coach of the Robertson High baseball team.
“I loved being around young people and I didn’t want them to be cheated in life,” says Archuleta. “ I made sure I taught them everything they needed to be the best they could be and to believe they could compete with anyone.”
His philosophy worked as his teams won five district championship and were a regular at the state tournament. His team’s highest finish was third in 1989.
And the legendary coach continues to compete — with his workouts.
“The motivational factor has to be within you,” says Archuleta. “You have to sacrifice the time and diet; it’s not an easy thing. As you get older you treasure life a little more and realize you have to take care of your body.”