Ex-La Cueva star Brian Joyce returns as Bears’ hoop coach

Featured photo: Brian Joyce, left, then coach at Western Nebraska Community College, during a school visit.

By Sebastian Noel

For Enchantment Sports

It took quite some time, but Brian Joyce is back home.

The former La Cueva High basketball star is returning to Albuquerque — as well as his alma mater.

Enchantment Sports has learned that Joyce is the new boys basketball coach at La Cueva, replacing his former coach Frank Castillo, who retired last month.

The announcement is expected sometime on Friday, according to multiple sources.

Joyce, who lives in Lynchburg, Va., could not be reached for comment.


joyce mugshot
Brian Joyce

Joyce’s men’s coaching resume spans more than 20 years.

His career as an assistant started in 1996 at the University of Central Oklahoma.

His Division I assistant gigs include stops at Colorado State and Liberty (2009-2015), where he was an assistant under former Lobo head coach Richie McKay and former Colorado State head coach Dale Layer.

His head coaching posts were at Western Nebraska Community College and Northeastern Junior College.

Joyce also served as Associate Athletic Director at Northeastern Junior College, where he was also director of the Criminal Justice Department.

“Coach Joyce is the total package!” Layer told Enchantment Sports. “He is a slam-dunk hire!”

Joyce, who played for and graduated from Oklahoma Christian University, was also an assistant professor in the Liberty psychology department.

He has a Ph. D. in educational leadership and a master’s in criminal justice.

As a player, Joyce is remembered as a tenacious guard.

“Brian Joyce was a flat-out inspiration on the court, and is one of my favorites players I’ve ever covered — high school or college,” said longtime New Mexico sportswriter Mark Smith, the editor in chief at Enchantment Sports.

“When you talk about a gritty guard who feared nobody, that was Brian. He was a vocal and emotional leader at La Cueva, and is such a great person – just like his grandpa.”

Joyce is the grandson of the late Frank Joyce, a well-known Albuquerque television sportscaster.

Dale Layer talking to Brian Joyce
Brian Joyce, left, and longtime coach Dale Layer.

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Sebastian Noel is a play-by-play announcer for ProView Networks and host of “Local Focus w/ Sebastian Noel,” airing weeknights at 10 p.m., on ProView.

Noel, also serves as the on-field reporter during the My50TV game of the week during the football season and is a frequent contributor to Enchantment Sports.

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