New Mexico Lobos football

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New Mexico Lobos football
2014 New Mexico Lobos football team
New Mexico Lobos Primary Mark.png
First season 1892
Athletic director Paul Krebs
Head coach Bob Davie
3rd year, 7–17 (.292)
Home stadium University Stadium (Albuquerque)
Stadium capacity 38,634
Stadium surface Grass
Location Albuquerque, New Mexico
Conference Mountain West
Division Mountain
All-time record 451–536–31 (.458)
Postseason bowl record 3–7–1 (.318)
Conference titles 4
Consensus All-Americans 3
Current uniform
MWC-Uniform-UNM.png
Colors Cherry and Silver
Rivals New Mexico State Aggies
Arizona Wildcats

The New Mexico Lobos football team is the intercollegiate football team at the University of New Mexico. The Lobos compete as a member of the Mountain West Conference. They have a cumulative record of 449–513–31.[1] Their official colors are cherry and silver. The team is currently coached by Bob Davie. The Lobos play their home games at University Stadium.

History[edit]

Early History (1892-1936)[edit]

The first New Mexico Lobos football team took the field in 1892. The team didn't have a head coach from 1892-1893 and in 1899. The Lobos didn't field a football team from 1895-1898, 1900 and 1902.

Ralph Hutchinson served as the Lobos head coach from 1911-1916, who compiled yearly records of 0–5, 3–3, 3–1–2 4–1 and 4–2 in that span.[2]

From 1920-1930, the Lobos were coached by Roy Johnson, who is credited with building the first athletics facilities on campus for the Lobos throughout the 1920s.[3]

Chuck Riley became the head football coach for the New Mexico Lobos and remained there for three years,[4] but posted a disappointing record of 7–13–3.[5]

Under head coach Gwinn Henry, the Lobos posted an 8–1 record in 1934. But they fell off in the next two seasons, posting records of 6–4 in 1935 and 2–7 in 1936.[6] Henry was replaced after 1936.

Ted Shipkey era (1937-1941)[edit]

Under head coach Ted Shipkey, who was hired to succeed Henry,[7] the Lobos posted yearly records of 4–4–1, 8–3, 8–2, 5–4, and 5–4–1 from 1937-1941.[8] Shipkey resigned after five seasons as head coach.

The 1938 season was capped with a 26-0 loss in the 1939 Sun Bowl to Utah. Overall, New Mexico was held to 59 yards passing, and was intercepted four times. Furthermore, they were unable to cross Utah's 40-yard line during the entire game. Utah, on the other hand, racked up 366 yards rushing, and outgained the Lobos 384–212.[9][10]

Willis Barnes era (1942-1946)[edit]

From 1942-1946, the Lobos were led by head coach Willis Barnes, and they posted records of 4–5–2, 1–7, 6–1–1 and 5–5–2 in that span.[11] Barnes' 1945 team won the Sun Bowl and his 1946 team tied in the Harbor Bowl.[12] His final record at UNM is 16–18–5.[13] Barnes resigned after five seasons.[14]

Berl Huffman era (1947-1949)[edit]

As the head football coach at UNM, Berl Huffman struggled to find success on the football field. His three-year tenure produced a record of 8–22–1 that included no winning seasons.[15] The Lobos' best season under his watch was a 4–5 mark in 1947. Huffman was fired after three seasons.[16]

Dudley DeGroot era (1950-1952)[edit]

Coach DeGroot

Dudley DeGroot, previously head football coach at West Virginia, was hired to take over the Lobos football program after Huffman's firing.[17] Under DeGroot's watch, the Lobos compiled a record of 13–17 in three seasons, which saw the Lobos' fortunes improve on the field. DeGroot saw how limited his talents were and decided to concentrate and gamble on an all-out defense. Every facet of defense DeGroot had coached over 30 years came into being at practices.[18] A dedicated and aggressive defense devised by DeGroot and his relentless assistants brought UNM unofficial "Defensive Team of the Year" honors by all of the major wire services.[19] The season totals were a 7–2 record with five shutouts.[20] The Lobos allowed just 46 points in nine games, an average of 5.1 a game.[21]

DeGroot was named Skyline Coach of the Year and five Lobos were named honorable mention All-America: captain and tackle Jack Barger, linebackers Larry White and Jim Bruening, guard Don Papini and kicker Mike Prokopiak.[22]

DeGroot retired from coaching after the 1952 season.

Bob Titchenal era (1953-1955)[edit]

For three seasons, Bob Titchenal served as the head football coach at New Mexico. His teams compiled records of 5–3–1, 5–5 and 2–8 for a total of a 12–15–1 record.[23] His teams struggled on the playing field and recruiting was a difficulty for Titchenal and his staff. UNM fired Titchenal after three seasons at the helm.[24]

Dick Clausen era (1956-1957)[edit]

Under head coach Dick Clausen, who came to UNM from Coe College,[25] the New Mexico Lobos football team posted back to back records of 4–6.[26] Clausen departed New Mexico after two seasons to accept the position of athletics director at rival Arizona.[27]

Marv Levy era (1958-1959)[edit]

In two seasons as head coach after being promoted from assistant coach, Marv Levy guided the Lobos to a 14–6 record and earned Skyline Conference Coach of the Year honors both years.[28] One of Levy's landmark wins at New Mexico was a 28-27 upset win over a powerful Air Force team in 1959.[29] Levy left UNM after back to back 7–3 seasons to accept the head football coach position at California[30] and would go on to a Hall of Fame career as a head coach in the NFL.

Bill Weeks era (1960-1967)[edit]

Coach Weeks

Bill Weeks served an eight-season stint as the head football coach at New Mexico from 1960 to 1967, compiling a record of 40–41–1.[31] His 1961 team won the Aviation Bowl and his 1964 team finished the season ranked #16 in the final Coaches' poll.[32]

Coach Weeks won more conference championships - three - than any head coach in the history of New Mexico football.[33] After starting his head coaching career 5–5 in 1960, Weeks and the Lobos embarked on the most successful four-year run in school history. In 1961, UNM finished 7–4 and won the Aviation Bowl with a 29-12 victory over Western Michigan.[34]

That success was followed by outright Western Athletic Conference titles in 1962 and 1963 and a shared conference title in 1964. From 1961-1964, the Lobos went 29–12–1 for the best four-season record in program history. Weeks was the school's winningest football coach until Rocky Long surpassed him in September 2005.[35]

Weeks stepped away from coaching after the 1967 season with a final record of 40–41–1.[36]

Rudy Feldman era (1968-1973)[edit]

Rudy Feldman, previously associate head coach at Colorado, took over as head coach following Weeks' retirement. As head coach at UNM, Feldman compiled a record of 24–37–2.[37] In his first season, the Lobos posted a winless 0–10 mark but two years later compiled a 7–3 record followed by a 6–3–2 season the next year.[38]

Feldman was reported to have accepted the Baylor head coaching position in December 1971, but Feldman changed his mind shortly thereafter, opting to remain with the Lobos.[39] Feldman quit coaching after six seasons at the helm of the Lobos.

Bill Mondt era (1974-1979)[edit]

Coach Bill Mondt was promoted from assistant coach to head coach following Feldman's decision to walk away from coaching.[40] Under Mondt, the Lobos compiled a record of 31–37–1 in six seasons.[41] Mondt's two winning seasons came in 1975 and 1978, with records of 6–5 and 7–5, respectively.[42] Despite only two winning seasons, the Lobos never had a record worse than 4–6–1 in a single season.[43]

Joe Morrison era (1980-1982)[edit]

Coach Morrison

Joe Morrison came to UNM from UT-Chattanooga.[44] Under his tutelage, the Lobos posted an overall record of 18–15–1, the best of which as a 10–1 record in what turned out to be Morrison's final season.[45] In what turned out to be Morrison's final season, 1982, the Lobos enjoyed unprecedented success as they posted one of the best records in program history, recording double digit wins, a rarity for the program that has seen its share of ups and downs.

Morrison wouldn't remain to build on the Lobos momentum or build upon their successes. He departed New Mexico after three seasons to accept the head football coach position at South Carolina.[46]

Joe Lee Dunn era (1983-1986)[edit]

From 1983 to 1986, Joe Lee Dunn, promoted from assistant coach after Morrison's departure,[47] was the head football coach of the Lobos, compiling a 17–30 record.[48] The Lobos were not able to build upon the successes of Morrison's tenure, posting yearly records of 6–6, 4–8, 3–8 and 4–8 during Dunn's five seasons.

Frustration among the fans, athletics department and alumni over the team's struggles led to Dunn's resignation after the 1986 season.[49]

Mike Sheppard era (1987-1991)[edit]

Mike Sheppard was hired away from Long Beach State to take over as head coach of the Lobos football program on December 25, 1986.[50]

Under Sheppard, the Lobos sank to new lows, failing to finish better than 3–9 in a single season and fan support and ticket sales at an all-time low to that point. The Lobos record under Sheppard was a dismal 9-50.[51]

Sheppard was fired after the 1991 season.[52]

Dennis Franchione era (1992-1997)[edit]

On December 5, 1991, Dennis Franchione was hired away from Texas State and announced as the Lobos new head coach, given the task of rebuilding the lowly program after five dismal seasons.[53] In his six seasons at New Mexico, he led the Lobos to a 33–36 record, including a 9–4 mark in 1997, which earned the Lobos a WAC Mountain Division Championship and an invitation to play in the Insight.com Bowl, a game they lost, their first bowl berth since 1961.[54] Franchione departed New Mexico for TCU after the 1997 season.[55]

During the 1996 and 1997 seasons, his roster included future NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher, who would set numerous defensive records during his time at UNM. His #44 was retired at a ceremony of a UNM home football game several years later.[56]

Rocky Long era (1998-2008)[edit]

Rocky Long, previously defensive coordinator at UCLA and a UNM alum, was named as the Lobos' head football coach on December 20, 1997.[57] His overall won-loss record through the 2008 season is 65–69, including 43–31 since 2001, the best five-year stretch for Lobo football in over forty years.[58] He is the most successful head coach in New Mexico Football history, passing Roy Johnson during the 2005 season.

He led the Lobos to three straight post-season bowl games (2003–05) for the first time in school history and the Lobos have been bowl-eligible for seven straight seasons, another record.[59] This streak continued into the 2007 season as the Lobos accepted a bid to the New Mexico Bowl. He garnered his first bowl win as Lobo coach by defeating the Nevada Wolf Pack 23-0 in the 2007 New Mexico Bowl.[60]

After 11 seasons, and an overall losing record of coaching at UNM, Long decided to resign on November 17, 2008, two days after the Lobos' regular season ended.[61] Long cited that he was not the right person to lead the program to newer heights.[62] He added that he had no plans of retirement, and that he wanted to continue to coach as a coordinator.[63]

Mike Locksley era (2009-2011)[edit]

Mike Locksley, previously offensive coordinator at Illinois, was named head coach of the New Mexico Lobos on December 9, 2008.[64] He signed a six-year contract worth $750,000 annually.[65] Locksley is the first and only African American head football coach in UNM football history.

In late May 2009, a former administrative assistant at New Mexico filed an age and sex discrimination complaint against Locksley with the Equal Opportunity Commission.[66] The complaint was filed by Locksley's former administrative assistant Sylvia Lopez. Lopez claimed to have been subjected to age and sexual discrimination before being transferred out of Locksley's office. The claims were later withdrawn.[67]

In late September 2009, Locksley was reprimanded for an altercation with an assistant coach. He was subsequently suspended without pay for ten days. He was not on the sideline for the game against UNLV on October 24, 2009.[68][69]

Locksley led his Lobos to 1–11 records his first and second seasons. Despite fan outcry to fire him,[70] he returned for his third season. The high buyout was a large reason UNM chose at first not to fire him. UNM athletic director Paul Krebs, who made the decision to retain Locksley, expected improvement in the 2011 season.[71] On September 25, 2011, Locksley was relieved of his duties following an 0-4 start that culminated in a loss at home to FCS Sam Houston State as well as the arrest of a minor for a DWI while driving a car registered to Locksley's 19 year old son Meiko a member of the Lobo Football team.[72] After an internal investigation by UNM, it was found the minor was not a recruit as erroneously reported. Instead a childhood friend of Meiko Locksley from his Champaign, IL days where his dad served as Offensive Coordinator for the Illini from 2005-2008. [73]

Bob Davie era (2012-present)[edit]

The Lobos' 30th head coach is former Notre Dame head coach Bob Davie, who took over after Locksley was fired.[74] Davie had been out of coaching and serving a college football analyst for ESPN for a decade when he was hired by the Lobos.[75]

In Davie's first season as head coach, the Lobos finished the 2012 season with a 4–9 record.[76]

In 2013, Davie's second season at the helm, UNM compiled a 3–9 record.[77]

Conference affiliation[edit]

Championships[edit]

Conference[edit]

New Mexico has won four conference championships in two different conferences (one in 1938 in the Border Conference), yet has not won a conference title in over 40 years.

Year Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1938dagger BIAA Ted Shipkey 8–3 4–2
1962 WAC Bill Weeks 7–2–1 2–1–1
1963 WAC Bill Weeks 6–4 3–1
1964dagger WAC Bill Weeks 9–2 3–1
Total conference championships 4
dagger Denotes co-champions

Conference division[edit]

Year Conference Division Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1997 WAC Mountain Dennis Franchione 9–4 6–2
Total Conference Division Championships 1

Postseason[edit]

Bowl games[edit]

Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA
January 2, 1939 Sun Bowl L Utah 0 26
January 1, 1944 Sun Bowl L Southwestern University 0 7
January 1, 1946 Sun Bowl W Denver Pioneers 34 24
January 1, 1947 Harbor Bowl T Montana State 13 13
December 9, 1961 Aviation Bowl W Western Michigan 28 12
December 27, 1997 Insight.com Bowl L Arizona 14 20
December 25, 2002 Las Vegas Bowl L UCLA 13 27
December 24, 2003 Las Vegas Bowl L Oregon State 14 55
December 30, 2004 Emerald Bowl L Navy 19 34
December 23, 2006 New Mexico Bowl L San Jose State 12 20
December 22, 2007 New Mexico Bowl W Nevada 23 0
Total 11 bowl games 3–7–1

Conference Championship[edit]

New Mexico made one appearance in the WAC Championship Game as the winner of the WAC Pacific Division.

Year Division Championship Coach Result Opponent
1997 WAC Pacific Dennis Franchione L, 13–41 Colorado State

Rivalries[edit]

Arizona[edit]

Annually played from 1938 to 1990, the winner of the Arizona-New Mexico rivalry game took ownership of a gun in the Battle for the Kit Carson Rifle. The gun is a Springfield Model 1866 rifle that is rumored to have once belonged to the famous frontier scout, Kit Carson. Game scores from each game are carved into the stock of the rifle. Prior to the 1997 Insight.com Bowl, the two schools announced that they would retire the rifle due to concerns of its history of violence against Native Americans, and it has not been used during any subsequent games between the two schools.[78] The two teams quit playing annually after the 1990 season and now play every few years.

New Mexico State[edit]

New Mexico's biggest rival is its in-state foe, the New Mexico State Aggies, whom they play annually. The series is known as the Rio Grande Rivalry. The rivalry between New Mexico's only two NCAA Division I institutions dates back to Jan. 1, 1894 - eighteen years before New Mexico achieved statehood - when the schools met in a football contest in Albuquerque. While it is clear that New Mexico won that first game, school records seem to disagree on the score. According to New Mexico media guides the final score was 25-5 but according to New Mexico State media guides the score was 18-6. By the time New Mexico entered the union in 1912 UNM and New Mexico A&M (as NMSU was known prior to 1959) had already met on the gridiron six times. Beginning in 1993, the two universities played for the Maloof Trophy, but it was short-lived; the trophy was retired in 2000. Until 1937 the series was competitive with the Aggies holding a 15-12-4 lead over the Lobos. Since 1938 the Lobos have dominated the series 54-16-1 except during 1959-1968 when the Aggies won 7 of 10 meetings. The Lobos all-time advantage is 67-31-5, however the rivalry remains spirited. Most recently the Lobos defeated the Aggies 27-14 on September 22, 2012 in Las Cruces. The September 26, 2009 game when the Aggies won 20-17 in Albuquerque was the 100th time the teams had played each other.

Current and Past players in the NFL[edit]

2013 Annual team awards[edit]

The Lobos in action against Navy

Each year members of the Lobos football team who distinguished themselves during the football season are honored at the Lobos Annual Football Awards Banquet. For the 2013 football season, the following team members were honored: Bill Brannin Most Valuable Player Award: Kasey Carrier; Reese Hill Offensive Most Valuable Player Award: Kasey Carrier; Clyde Hill Most Improved Player Award: Cole Gautsche; Colonel H.J. Golightly Defensive Most Valuable Player Award: Dallas Bollema; Chuck Cummins Most Inspirational Player Award: Dillon Farrell; 1st Team Award (Unselfish Devotion to the Team): Mat McBain; Outstanding Special Teams Player: Carlos Wiggins; Most Valuable Offensive Scout Team Player Award: Romell Jordan; Most Valuable Defensive Scout Team Player Award: Tayo Adewon; The Red Menace Award: Dillon Farrell; New Mexico Man Award: Reece White; Academic Achievement Award: Garrett Adcock; Academic Most Improved Award: Devonta Tabannah; Big Brother of the Year Award: Dillon Farrell.

About the Clyde and Reese Hill awards: The Hill brothers were members of the Lobos football team prior to WWII (Clyde, 1941; Reese, 1939–1941). Both men were described by UNM coaches as extraordinary athletes. Clyde came to UNM after serving in the U.S. Marines where he was a boxing champion. At UNM, he was a member of the university boxing team and made the football team as a walk-on. Reese came to UNM as a highly touted recruit. A "legend" in northern New Mexico high school sports, he lettered in four sports at St. Michael's High School in Santa Fe. While at UNM, he was a member of the university's track, basketball and football teams. The Hill brothers were described by a contemporary as being "He-Men, the kind of men who could throw you across a room." After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Clyde and Reese left UNM to enlist in the military. Clyde died as a U.S. Marine F4U fighter pilot at Okinawa with the rank of Captain, while Reese—a U.S. Army 1st Lt. and glider pilot—survived the invasion of Normandy only to be killed when his glider was shot down over the Netherlands.

Future Non-Conference Opponents[edit]

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
vs Tulsa vs Sam Houston State at Tulsa at USC
at Arizona State at New Mexico State at Texas A&M
vs New Mexico State at Rutgers vs New Mexico State

[79]

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External links[edit]