Alumni Award Recipients

Frank SedilloFrank Sedillo
Zia Award, 2013

Metropolitan Court Judge Frank Sedillo’s (’82 BBA, ’87 JD) pursuit of a legal career began in the legislative branch when he served as Aide/Doorkeeper for Senator Pete Domenici and then as Aide to Congressman Manuel Lujan. Now he presides not only in court but as host of “The Advocate,” a City of Albuquerque GOV 16 Television show. His contributions to UNM athletics began with the Lobo football team and have continued with nearly 20 years’ service on the UNM Alumni Lettermen’s Association board of directors. Sedillo is licensed as a coach and official for the New Mexico Activities Association.

Frank Sedillo has been a role model for kids ever since he was a kid himself. His principal at Albuquerque High, Richard Romero, says "Frankie" was an athlete and a smart kid who would talk with everybody.

As an adult, Frank coaches football, baseball and basketball, and as a Metropolitan Court judge he remains, proudly, in touch with everybody. Good coaches and good judges — and Frank — hold a lot in common.

  • A good coach is tough, but fair. So is a good judge. So is Frank.
  • A good coach treats his players with respect, although that respect has to be earned. Not unlike a good judge. Not unlike Frank.
  • A good coach understands a player's weaknesses and strengths. Not unlike a judge. Not unlike Frank.
  • A good coach is a good observer. So is a good judge. So is Frank.

Frank tends to see things differently, Richard Romero says, not just as an athlete-student-lawyer, but as one of the people. He has empathy, due partially to his upbringing.

Frank's mom was a hairdresser and his dad a miner, railroad worker and machinist. They made a loving home for their three sons, teaching them the value of hard work and regard for others.

After playing three sports at Albuquerque High and graduating in the top of his class, Frank lettered in football at UNM. He earned Western Athletic Conference all-academic honors four years in a row, and received the Stan Bates Award as the WAC's top scholar-athlete.

A business grad, Frank sampled the Washington scene as an aide to US Senator Pete Domenici for a year before earning his JD at UNM in 1987. A practicing lawyer for 13 years, Frank was exposed to the full gamut of law—civil and criminal, family and corporate.

About the same time Frank began practicing law, he went back to practicing ball, but this time as a coach. He gave his time and heart to kids, emulating the coaches who had played such a role in his own youth. He is a licensed football coach and official with the New Mexico Activities Association. He served as president and on the board of directors of the Young American Football League.

An avid Alumni Letterman, Frank has served on the board of directors since 1994, including a term as president and multiple years' co-chairing the Hall of Honor.

In 2000, Frank was elected a judge in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

When not at court, Frank volunteers for APS, the New Mexico State Bar, and the Center for Civic Values—almost always on behalf of young people. He continues to coach, but now he coaches his son's team.

Frank also hosts "The Advocate," a City of Albuquerque television show that answers and instructs citizens in legal matters.

Recently, Frank officiated at a gathering of couples wed in the UNM Alumni Chapel over the past 50 years who were renewing their vows. He instructed them to love, honor, and cheer for the Lobos.

Frank, you are a role model for us all. We are honored, your honor, to give you our Zia Award.