New Mexico Lobos men's basketball
|New Mexico Lobos|
|University||University of New Mexico|
|Head coach||Craig Neal (1st year)|
Cherry Red, Silver, and White
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1968, 1974, 1978, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2013|
|Conference tournament champions|
Western Athletic Conference
Mountain West Conference
2005, 2012, 2013
|Conference regular season champions|
Western Athletic Conference
Mountain West Conference
2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
The New Mexico Lobos men's basketball team is the men's college basketball program representing the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. The Lobos compete in the Mountain West Conference in NCAA Division I. UNM established basketball as a varsity sport in 1899, just eight years after the invention of the game, and became competitive among regional colleges after establishing an athletics department in 1920. The team is currently coached by Craig Neal.
The most prominent enduring feature of the Lobo basketball program is its home venue, The Pit, one of the best recognized college basketball arenas in the country. The Pit opened in 1966, and the Lobos have been dominant in the building, winning over eighty percent of their games there. The arena has frequently hosted NCAA tournament games, including the 1983 NCAA Final Four that featured one of the most memorable finishes in tournament history.
Lobo basketball first achieved national prominence after Bob King became head coach in 1962. Under King the Lobos became a consistent winner and produced future ABA MVP Mel Daniels. The Lobos won the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championship in 1964 and 1968, making frequent appearances in national rankings. The team reached the NIT tournament final in 1964 and received its first bid to the NCAA tournament in 1968. The program had continued success after King, winning WAC titles in 1974, 1978, and 1994, winning the conference tournament in 1993 and 1996, and regularly earning post-season tournament bids.
The Lobos became frequent participants in the NCAA tournament during the 1990s and have made fourteen appearances overall, as well as nineteen appearances in the NIT. They have won the Mountain West Conference regular season championship four times and the conference tournament three times. In addition to Daniels, other prominent players produced by the Lobo program include five-time NBA champion Michael Cooper, three-time NBA champion Luc Longley, NBA all-star Danny Granger, and Kenny Thomas.
- 1 Coaching history
- 2 The Pit
- 3 Athletic conferences
- 4 Coaching records
- 5 Post-season results
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
Roy W. Johnson (1920-1960)
Roy Johnson, nicknamed "Old Iron Head," was fundamental to the early development of Lobo athletics. Johnson arrived in 1920 after a successful athletic career at the University of Michigan. The UNM gymnasium at the time was a small wooden building where the walls were out-of-bounds markers for basketball games. Basketball was primarily an intramural sport, with occasional games against other schools, including Albuquerque High, and no regular schedule. Johnson set about building collegiate-level athletics facilities, performing some of the hard labor with his own hands. He oversaw construction of Carlisle Gymnasium in 1928 and built the first grass football field and bleachers at UNM, roughly where Johnson Field lies now.
During his forty years at UNM, Johnson coached every men's sport the school offered while teaching physical education. A decorated veteran who served in World Wars I and II, he was the UNM athletic director from 1920-49. He established regularly scheduled games against regional colleges, and in 1931 UNM joined the Border Conference as a founding member. Johnson coached the UNM basketball team for all but two seasons from 1920-40. From 1924-34, his teams posted a 95–31 (.754) record. The Lobos won 165 games with Johnson as head basketball coach, a school record for thirty years and currently third on its all-time list.
Johnson stepped down as head basketball coach after the 1939-40 season. The position passed to a few different coaches before Woody Clements took over from 1944–51 and 1953–55, compiling a record of 113-119 (.487). The Lobos won the Border Conference in 1944 and 1945, and they appeared in the NAIA post-season tournament in 1947, losing to Hamline University in the first round. From 1951-62, the Lobos competed in the Mountain States Conference, known at the time as the Skyline Eight. In 1957, while still on faculty, Johnson oversaw construction of the 7,800-seat arena that bears his name, Johnson Gymnasium. For many years, Johnson Gym was the most prominent feature of the UNM campus for those driving along Central Ave. in Albuquerque, part of historic U.S. Route 66.
Bob King (1962-1972)
The Lobos had just two winning seasons between 1947 and 1962, compiling a record of 113-252 (.310), including a dismal 42-149 (.220) during the last eight seasons of that stretch. The team turned around dramatically with the hiring of Bob King as head coach before the 1962-63 season. Lobo basketball first achieved national prominence under King, who was previously an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Iowa. King's impact on the program was immediate. The Lobos won as many games in his first two seasons as they had won in the previous seven seasons combined. They compiled a record of 116-44 (.725) in his first six seasons and went 175–89 (.663) in his ten seasons at UNM.
The Lobos joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) as a founding member before King's first season. The team went 16-9 his first year and won their first WAC championship the following season, 1963–64, led by Ira Harge, who King had brought along from a junior college in Iowa. The team posted a 23-6 record, including wins over Kansas and at Purdue, earning a berth in the 1964 National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City. They defeated Drake and NYU before falling to Bradley in the championship game, finishing the year ranked 16th in the UPI poll. Harge averaged 18.8 points and 11.8 rebounds per game during his two seasons at UNM and was selected in the second round of the 1964 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.
The rise of the program continued in the 1964-65 season, led by sophomores Mel Daniels and Ben Monroe. The team began the season 18-3, attaining a #10 national ranking, before finishing 19-8. They were again invited to the NIT, losing to St. John's. Daniels averaged over 17 points and 11 rebounds a game, providing the fast-growing Lobo fan base a preview of things to come. The success of King's first three seasons led to attendance at Johnson Gym doubling, and plans to build a bigger arena began to take shape. In the 1965-66 season, Daniels averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds a game, and the team finished 16-8, completing its best four-year stretch in nearly forty years.
University Arena, better known as "The Pit," opened as the home of the Lobos on Dec. 1, 1966, and the team began the 1966-67 season ranked 6th in the country. Daniels pulled down 21 rebounds in the third game played in The Pit. The 5th-ranked Lobos beat the 2nd-ranked, defending national champion UTEP in El Paso on Dec. 16, 1966, the highest-ranked team they had ever beaten at that point, and the only time they have played in a game between top five teams. The Lobos reached #3 in January after an 11-1 start but fell out of the rankings after losing four straight. They finished the WAC season a disappointing 5-5 but again received an invitation to the NIT. They beat Syracuse in the first round before losing to Rutgers, finishing the season at 19-8, ranked #18 in the UPI. Daniels averaged 21.5 points and 11.6 rebounds a game, finished his career with a still-standing record of 44 double-doubles, and he became the first Lobo to be named as an All-American. He was selected as the ninth pick overall in the NBA draft by the Cincinnati Royals, but he chose to play in the fledgling American Basketball Association (ABA), becoming one of its greatest all-time players. He was named the first ABA Rookie of the Year in 1968, its Most Valuable Player in 1969 and 1971, and he led the Indiana Pacers to three ABA championships.
Stoking the popularity of Lobo basketball by this time was the success of its two oldest rivals. New Mexico began playing New Mexico State in 1904, currently totaling over 200 games; they have played UTEP since 1929, over 140 games total. Don Haskins took over at UTEP in 1961 and led the Miners to a 128–32 (.800) record in his first six seasons, including a 28-1 national championship season in 1965-66. New Mexico State hired Lou Henson as head coach in 1966, and like the Lobos under King, in his second season the Aggies began achieving national rankings and post-season tournament appearances. The Aggies went 74-14 (.841) from 1967–70, including a 27-3 season in 1969-70 in which they were ranked in the top five most of the year, culminating in a Final Four appearance. The Lobos, Aggies, and Miners played one another twice every season, home-and-away, and a fierce rivalry grew among them. The teams were frequently ranked in national polls, giving their games a showdown quality extending beyond local bragging rights to the national stage.
The Lobos lost Daniels and Monroe to graduation and were picked in the 1967-68 preseason to finish last in the WAC. Instead, they started the season 17-0, rising to #6 in the national rankings before beating #5 Utah in the Pit, propelling them to #4. Four starters averaged in double-figures in scoring, led by senior guard Ron Nelson at 19.5 points a game. They swept their regular season match-ups against New Mexico St., with both teams ranked in the top ten at the time of their second game. The Lobos won the WAC championship, and King was named WAC Coach of the Year. Nelson was named an All-American, and the Lobos earned their first NCAA tournament appearance. They entered the tournament 23-3, ranked #6, and hosted their first round game in The Pit, but they lost to unranked Santa Clara. Starting center Greg (Stretch) Howard was ineligible to play due to an NCAA rule disallowing transfers to play in postseason games. Without his 14 points and 10 rebounds a game, the balance of the Lobo attack withered, and Nelson was their only consistent offense. Also playing in the first round at The Pit, New Mexico State lost to eventual champion UCLA, then won the consolation game over the Lobos, who finished the season 23-5.
The 1968-69 season began with high expectations and the Lobos ranked in the top ten, but they dropped out after a string of road losses. Howard led a young team, scoring 19.7 per game, with sophomores Willie Long and Petie Gibson beginning their runs as three-year starters. The Lobos swept #8 New Mexico State, with Gibson hitting a well-remembered last-second shot in the latter game, leading to a brief return to the national rankings. The team finished the season 17-9 but failed to receive an NIT berth. The Lobos slumped to a 42-36 record over King's final three seasons. Long averaged 23.9 points a game both his junior and senior seasons, earning all-WAC honors both seasons and all-American recognition in 1971. He finished with career averages of 19.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game at New Mexico, and his 23 double-doubles in 1969-70 still stands as the Lobo season record. Gibson compiled career averages of over eleven points and seven assists per game, still holding UNM records for career assists per game and four other assist categories.
After the 1971-72 season, assistant coach Norm Ellenberger was elevated to head coach, and King served as Assistant Athletics Director the next season. King then left to become head coach and Athletics Director at Indiana State University. In 1976, he recruited future Hall of Famer Larry Bird to ISU, where he led the Sycamores to a 48-12 record in his first two seasons. King suffered a brain aneurysm shortly before Bird's senior season, however, and his assistant, Bill Hodges, led the team to the 1979 Final Four, where they lost to Michigan State in the championship game. King continued as AD until retiring the next year.
Bob King transformed the New Mexico program, becoming known as the "Architect of Lobo Basketball." Since his arrival at UNM, the Lobos have won over sixty percent of their games and earned over two dozen berths to post-season tournaments, while suffering only five losing seasons. In 1992, UNM President Richard E. Peck announced that the basketball court at University Arena would be named in honor of King. "Bob King Court" was dedicated at formal ceremonies on Dec. 1, 1992, the 26th anniversary of the opening of The Pit. Coach King died on December 10, 2004.
Norm Ellenberger (1972–79)
Under Norm Ellenberger, the Lobos won WAC championships in 1974 and 1978 and compiled an overall record of 134-62 (.684). Ellenberger was named head coach in March 1972 after serving as an assistant under King since 1967. It was Ellenberger's first Division I head coaching position, but he quickly made up for what he lacked in experience with energy and enthusiasm. The program thrived, and Ellenberger became a local celebrity, restaurateur, and man-about-town, earning the nickname "Stormin' Norman" for his flashy attire, fiery coaching style, and flamboyant personality.
Like King, Ellenberger got off to a fast start in his first two seasons. In 1972-73, the Lobos raced out to a 9-0 record, including road wins at Oregon St. and eventual Southwest Conference champion Texas Tech, leading to their first appearance in the national rankings in nearly four years. The team was led by the strong inside scoring and rebounding of Darryl Minniefield, Bernard Hardin, and Mark Saiers. In late February the Lobos were 21-3, ranked #15, and leading the WAC, before losing their last two games and finishing second in conference. The Lobos returned to the NIT, losing to eventual champion Virginia Tech and finishing 21-6, still the best first season record for a Lobo coach since the pre-King era.
The 1973-74 Lobos began the season 12-0, launching them to a #8 ranking. Hardin led the way, averaging 17.1 points a game, and the team became the highest scoring Lobo squad to date, averaging over 84 points a game. Bill Hagins replaced Minniefield, and the team was again dominant inside. After a string of road losses, the Lobos recovered to win six of seven and secure the WAC championship, in a strong season for the league when five of eight teams were ranked at some point. The Lobos earned their second trip to the NCAA tournament and tallied their first tournament victory, downing Idaho St. before losing to San Francisco in the second round. They beat Dayton in the regional consolation game to finish the season 22-7 and ranked #18 in the UPI. Attendance at The Pit surged to its best ever, a trend that would continue throughout the Ellenberger years, regularly earning placement among the top five in the nation. The top six largest crowds ever at The Pit were during this period.
The 1974-75 Lobo team was decimated by graduation and slipped to a 13-13 record. Ellenberger began relying heavily on recruiting Junior College (JC) tranfers, a tactic that would lead to his best season as Lobo coach, but later to his downfall. The 1975-76 team improved to 16-11 with a largely mercenary squad of JC transfers who would later quit the team before the end of the season. A memorable highlight of the season was the first game in a brief but intense rivalry with UNLV, before the teams were in the same conference. Ellenberger was well-respected as a teacher of defense, and he was a frequent participant in basketball coaching camps and workshops, where he became friends with UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian. In January 1976, #4 UNLV survived a scare from the underdog Lobos before a Pit-record crowd of 19,452, with fans overflowing onto the concourse and sitting in the stairways, a game still lauded as one of the greatest and loudest ever in The Pit.
The 1976-77 team featured JC arrivals Michael Cooper, Marvin Johnson, and Willie Howard, the nucleus for a successful and exciting two-year run. Cooper is among the best overall players ever produced by the Lobo program and was named an All-American in 1978. He averaged 16 points and five rebounds a game as a Lobo, also leading the team in assists and steals. "Coop" later became a mainstay of the "Showtime" Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s, winning five NBA championships over a 12-year career. His defensive prowess made him an eight-time recipient of NBA All-Defensive Team honors, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1987. By contrast, Marvin "Automatic" Johnson was one of the greatest scorers in Lobo history. He became the fourth leading scorer in school history at the time in just two seasons, set single season records for total points, season points per game average (24.0), career points per game average (21.9), and he scored a still-school record 50 points in a single game. Willie Howard was a talented inside player averaging 13 points and six rebounds a game, frequently coming off the bench to lead the team in scoring. Further JC transfers Jimmy Allen and Will Smiley completed a strong Lobo front line. The injection of talent made the Lobos exciting and competitive, but they took time to gel as a team. They began the season with a 6-4 record, including a couple of disappointing losses. They beat Iowa and USC on the way to another showdown with #9 UNLV, losing a high-scoring game, then losing to #10 Arizona. The Lobos remained in the WAC race late in the season, but road struggles relegated them to third place and a 19-11 final record.
Before the 1977-78 season, Ellenberger installed what he called the "Equal Opportunity Motion Offense," a run-and-gun attack emphasizing picks and passing as players rotate through each position, taking advantage of his versatile, athletic lineup. The scheme also employed a full-court pressing, trapping defense to generate points off of turnovers. The team played at a frenetic pace and led the nation in scoring at 97.5 points per game. Phil Abney and Russell Saunders were JC additions; Abney initially backed up Howard but moved into the starting line-up, with Howard providing energy and scoring off the bench. The Lobos stood at 7-2 after losing to #10 Syracuse, then rattled off 14 straight wins, including a home-and-away sweep of #9 UNLV, pushing them into the national rankings and eventually into the top ten. Attendance at The Pit jumped to over 17,000 a game, second most in the nation, as fan enthusiasm soared. The Lobos won their fourth WAC championship with a 13-1 record, losing only at ranked Utah, and entered the NCAA tournament ranked #5 and seeded second in the West Regional, with the opportunity to play in The Pit for the regional final with a win. They were upset in the first round by unranked Cal State Fullerton, however, in another disappointing tournament performance. The Lobos finished the season 24-4 and ranked #12, and Ellenberger was voted runner-up for the US Basketball Writers Coach of the Year award.
The 1978-79 Lobo squad returned starters Abney and Saunders, adding another strong JC class including Larry Belin and Everette Jefferson. The team began the season 8-3 but struggled away from The Pit, losing its first seven true road games. The team finally broke through, winning another exciting game at UNLV, 102-99, beginning a string of nine wins in its last ten games. The strong finish earned the Lobos an NIT bid, where they lost to Texas A&M, finishing the season 19-10. The 1979-80 roster appeared once again loaded with talent, and fan expectations were again high, but disaster struck the program in the early weeks of the season as the "Lobogate" scandal unfolded. Leading players like Belin lost eligibility and were dropped from the team. Ellenberger was fired on Dec. 17, 1979, and the season continued with the remaining players not caught up in the scandal, along with several walk-ons.
The "Lobogate" scandal involved forged academic transcripts, payments made for bogus Junior College credits, and other devices to attain eligibility for players who lacked academic credentials. In an investigation into illegal gambling, the FBI had placed a wiretap on the phone of a major Lobo booster. While Ellenberger was visiting this booster, in November 1979, he took a call on the tapped phone from assistant coach Manny Goldstein. They discussed an arrangement to transfer bogus credits from a California Junior College to the office of the UNM registrar. Based on this conversation, the FBI launched an investigation that led to a federal indictment of Ellenberger on seven counts of fraud and forgery of academic transcripts, though he was acquitted of those charges at trial. In July 1981, however, he was convicted by a state District Court on 21 of 22 counts of fraud and submitting false public vouchers. The judge deferred sentence for a year, and all counts were formally dismissed in 1983.
The NCAA investigation into the scandal found 34 violations of recruiting rules, and the Lobo program was placed on probation and banned from post-season appearances for three years. Six players were dismissed from the team in the opening weeks of the 1979-80 season, and another was suspended. The damage to the program was devastating, as it was forced to rebuild virtually from scratch, beginning in mid-season.
Ellenberger's criminal charges were cleared from his record, but he would never be head coach of a college program again. Despite the scandal, Ellenberger managed to remain popular in Albuquerque, running a nightclub, appearing in TV commercials, and coaching the city's Continental Basketball Association team—some fans even wanted him to be rehired as Lobo coach. In 1986, former rival and longtime friend Don Haskins took Ellenberger on as lead assistant at UTEP, where he would coach for four years. He then became the lead assistant for Bobby Knight at Indiana for ten seasons, from 1990-2000.
- Charlie Harrison (1979–80)
When Ellenberger was fired in December 1979, lead assistant Charlie Harrison was elevated to head coach for the remainder of the season. Only four scholarship players remained on the team, so a campus tryout filled out the roster with walk-ons. The team limped to a 6–22 record. One stand-out was Kenny Page, a transfer from Ohio St.. Page was the only consistent offensive threat on the team and averaged 28 points a game, still the Lobo record for best season average. Harrison and his players gained fan appreciation for persevering under difficult circumstances, but he served primarily as a caretaker until a new head coach was named.
Gary Colson (1980-1988)
Gary Colson rebuilt the Lobo program virtually from scratch after Lobogate, restoring its integrity and eventually its success on the court. Colson inherited a program under NCAA sanctions, with only three players remaining on scholarship. While he initially relied on JC transfers to fill the roster, he also began the slow process of rebuilding the program around freshmen recruits, with a greater emphasis on student-athletes. Colson ran a clean program, adhering strictly to NCAA rules. UNM officials watched the program closely, wary of falling back into disfavor with the NCAA. Colson later stated that he felt tremendous pressure to push the rules, and knew other coaches who were doing so and succeeding, but his personal integrity kept him from doing so, an attitude that was appreciated by his players.
In their first three seasons under Colson, the Lobos struggled to a 39-44 combined record. Four-year starting PG Phil Smith led those early teams, averaging 14 points, six assists, and two steals per game over his career, setting then-records for highest scoring freshman, most steals in a season, and most career assists. A highlight of Colson's first season was his fourth game as head coach, hosting an Arizona St. team that would reach #3 in the nation, led by future NBA players Byron Scott, Fat Lever, Alton Lister, and Sam Williams. The callow Lobo squad led for much of the game, igniting a delirious crowd at The Pit. The Sun Devils battled back to tie the game at the end of regulation before escaping with a win in OT, 86-83. Despite the struggles of the team, attendance at The Pit actually improved in Colson's early years, remaining in the top four nationally.
The 1983-84 Lobos relied almost exclusively on four senior starters—Smith, Tim Garrett, Alan Dolensky, and Nelson Franse—with only three other players contributing significant minutes, including freshman Kelvin Scarborough. The four seniors established the top four positions in the Lobo record book for most minutes played in a season at the time. The Lobos opened the season with losses to Santa Clara and Alaska-Anchorage in the Great Alaska Shootout before beating USC. They beat Washington at home and then won at #7 UCLA. The plucky squad lacked depth, but its veterans found ways to win, piling up a 16-4 record by late January. The team frequently slowed their games to a crawl, with several league games ending with both teams scoring under 50 points, such as a win at Wyoming, 40-38. The Lobos averaged 63.7 ppg, their lowest output since 1958-59, while holding opponents to 59.2 ppg, the lowest since Bob King's early years. Top ten-ranked UTEP foiled the Lobos, however, sweeping their regular season match-ups and knocking them out of the WAC tournament, 44-38. Smith was named all-WAC, and Colson was named WAC Coach of the Year. The Lobos returned to the NIT, losing at The Pit to Lamar and finishing the season 24-11. The NIT appearance began a streak of eleven straight years of reaching post-season play.
The Lobos in 1984-85 were led by JC transfer forward Johnny Brown (18.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game) and senior center George Scott (14 points and 6.6 rebounds), along with a nucleus of sophomores, including guards Scarborough and Hunter Greene, who both averaged scoring in double figures. The Lobos beat a good Arizona team before losing a close game to #1 Georgetown, led by Patrick Ewing, the first time the Lobos had faced a top-ranked opponent. The team slipped to 6-5 before winning eight out of nine, gaining a share of the WAC lead at 7-2. They then lost five out of six, however, and finished in a tie for third place. They beat Texas A&M at home in the NIT before losing at Fresno St. to finish the season 19-13. Brown again led the Lobos in 1985-86 with 20.9 points and 7.5 rebounds a game, earning all-WAC recognition (Brown compiled career averages of 19.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game). Scott was lost to graduation, and Greene sat out the season with an injury, and the inexperienced team struggled badly on the road and finished fifth in the WAC. They nevertheless reached the NIT, losing to Texas and finishing 17-14.
The 1986-87 season was the most successful for Colson as coach of the Lobos. Greene returned to average 21.1 points and six rebounds a game, while Scarborough added 18.9 points and six assists a game. The Lobos scored over eighty points a game and set the team record for most total points in a season. They also established still-standing records for steals in a season as a team, Greene for steals by a player in a season, and Scarborough for career steals. The Lobos logged wins over NC-Charlotte, Texas, Oklahoma State, and Miami on the way to a 17-5 record. They then lost three straight league games on the road, however, and fell to third in a tight WAC race. They won two games to reach the final of the WAC tournament but lost to Wyoming, which would go on to reach the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. At 25-9 in a strong WAC, Lobo fans retained hope that the team would gain an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. The selection committee did grant the WAC three spots in the tournament field, but the Lobos were left out, a disappointment that would linger through the following season. The team was again relegated to the NIT, where they lost to Oregon St. and finished the year at 25-10, setting the team record for wins in a season at the time. Scarborough was named all-WAC and finished his career second (now third) in Lobo history in total assists.
In 1987-88 the Lobos were led by Charlie Thomas, a junior transfer from Wake Forest (17 points and 7.5 rebounds a game), and senior Greene (16.8 points, 6.8 rebounds a game). The team tallied early wins over UCLA, Ohio St., and at Texas before hosting #1 Arizona, led by all-Americans Sean Elliott and Steve Kerr. The Lobos jumped out to a 25-9 lead before the Wildcats chiseled away at the lead, cutting it to two late in the game. Elliott had an opportunity to put Arizona in the lead with a three-point shot with seconds remaining, but Greene blocked to shot to seal the win, the only time the Lobos have beaten a top-ranked opponent. A week later, the Lobos beat #5 Wyoming at The Pit, giving them a record of 14-3 and sending them to a #19 ranking, their first appearance in the polls since Lobogate. They fell into a 6-10 slide, however, including a 1-9 record on the road, a chronic weakness of the Lobos under Colson, whose teams compiled a 24-65 record in road games. The Lobos again returned to the NIT, beating Pepperdine and Oregon before losing in the quarter-finals to Ohio St., a team they had beaten earlier in the season, finishing with a 22-14 record. Greene completed his career as the only Lobo ever to surpass 1,500 points, 600 rebounds, 300 assists, and 200 steals, averaging 16 points and six rebounds a game as a Lobo.
Colson was forced to resign a month after the season ended, a move that remains somewhat controversial. Former UNM athletic director John Bridgers believed Colson had never received the full support of the Lobo community, and Colson himself stated that the popularity and continued presence of Ellenberger during his early years were unnerving and that he sometimes felt in competition with the former coach. Bridgers had been replaced the year before as AD by John Koenig, who did not believe Colson could take the Lobos to the next level. Colson's teams had gone 107-62 (.633) in his last five seasons, but his failure to win the conference or to make it to the NCAA tournament were common criticisms. To make matters worse, Colson had clashed with Koenig in a contract dispute and had gone over his head to resolve the issue. Colson's supporters pointed to the strong recruiting class he had coming in, arguing that his best teams were ahead of him, as well as the integrity and academic success of the players forged by Colson during his tenure. Further complicating the situation, Koenig himself was fired three months later and eventually faced indictment on 47 counts of criminal charges for his activities as AD. In the end, fans wanted more than Colson had managed to achieve, and despite the respect he had earned for extricating the program from the depths of Lobogate, the disappointment of failing to reach the NCAA tournament fueled support for a change of leadership.
Dave Bliss (1988–99)
Dave Bliss led the Lobos to the NCAA tournament six of his last seven seasons, reaching the second round in the last four years. Longley left in 1991 for a career in the NBA. Bliss also had forward Kenny Thomas to work with from 1995-99.
The Lobos were ranked among the AP Top 25 team almost every week during Thomas' four-season career, cracking the Top 10 seven times, and the team reached the NCAA tournament all four seasons.
Fran Fraschilla (1999-2002)
After Bliss left to become head coach at Baylor, former Manhattan and St. John's coach Fran Fraschilla coached the Lobos from 1999 to 2002. His tenure was marked by a disappointing record (55–41 with no NCAA tournament appearances) and a poor relationship with his players.
Ritchie McKay (2002-2007)
Ritchie McKay proclaimed that coaching the Lobos was a dream come true. His father, Joe McKay, was a starter for the Lobos from 1960–63, and he said he was happy to return to Albuquerque. McKay was seen as a second-tier candidate for the coaching job by Lobo fans, in large part due to his sudden, late-night appointment. McKay had a mixed record coming in, but getting rid of memories from recent years provided relief and hope for fans.
Coach McKay faced a major rebuilding project when he took over as head coach in 2002. The team was short on talent and scholarships, and once again had to resort to walk-on players. One player, Ruben Douglas, would provide a bright spot for the 2002-03 squad, leading the NCAA in scoring with 28.0 points per game.
The Lobo program abruptly stopped its slide and began to recover in December 2003. After sitting out the first semester for eligibility reasons, Danny Granger and Troy DeVries made their Lobo debuts. DeVries was a solid, experienced player who stabilized a young backcourt. Granger is considered to be one of the greatest players in Lobo history. The young Lobos became competitive by the end of the season led by the two vets, though a late run for a post-season spot fell short.
In 2004-05, Granger carried the Lobos to a 26–7 record, the Mountain West Conference (MWC) tournament championship, and back to the NCAA tournament. He was named to the All-MWC first team, and recognized as an AP Honorable Mention All-American.
In June 2005, Granger was selected as the 17th pick in the first round of the NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have been a regular playoff team in recent years, and the organization includes former Lobo Mel Daniels and Hall of Famer Larry Bird.
On February 22, 2007, Ritchie McKay was fired by University of New Mexico Athletic Director Paul Krebs due to falling attendance, poor play, and fan apathy.
Steve Alford (2007–2013)
Steve Alford was named head coach of the Lobos on March 23, 2007, after stepping down from the same position at the University of Iowa. His first year, he led the Lobos back to a winning record, 24–9. Alford's first year record was the best in Lobos history since Bliss' departure. He led the team to the NIT, but the Lobos lost to Cal 66–68 in the first round. The Lobos finally beat Utah in Salt Lake City for the first time since 1989. The Lobos were third place in the 2007 MWC season. The # 8 nationally ranked (Associated Press) Lobos won the Mountain West Conference outright for the 2009-10 season with a 30-4 record. They defeated TCU 73-66 on March 3, 2010 to clinch the regular-season title outright. Alford captured MWC coach of the year honors for a second straight season. New Mexico head coach Steve Alford (as of December 25, 2012) has 138 career wins at the University of New Mexico, becoming the seventh coach (out of 19) to win at least 100 games while at the helm of the Lobos. In 2011, Alford became the second fastest Lobo coach to reach 100 career wins with the school, one game behind Bob King.
Craig Neal (2013-present)
Early New Mexico basketball teams played in what became known as the Old Wooden Gym, where the walls were the out-of-bounds markers. In 1928 Coach Roy Johnson organized construction of Carlisle Gymnasium, seating about 1,500 spectators, with later additions doubling that figure, and in 1957 Johnson Gymnasium opened, with a capacity of 7,800. The success of the Lobos under Bob King led to rapidly growing fan interest. Attendance doubled, Johnson Gym was soon selling out, and plans for a larger arena began to be developed.
University Arena opened in 1966 but was soon nicknamed "The Pit" due to its innovative subterranean design, with the playing floor 37 feet below street level. In 2009 the nickname was adopted as the official name. The Lobos have enjoyed exceptional success at The Pit, winning over eighty percent of their games and mounting home winning streaks of over twenty games four times, with the longest streak of 41 straight wins in 1996-98. The Lobos have made 14 NCAA tournament appearances and 17 NIT appearances since the opening of the arena. In 1992, the basketball court at The Pit was named "Bob King Court" in honor of the coach who made its construction possible.
Attendance at Lobo games in The Pit has consistently been among the national leaders in college basketball, averaging over 15,400 fans per game since it opened. The Lobos finished in the top five nationally in attendance sixteen times in their first twenty years at The Pit, finishing second five times, and they were in the top ten all but one season through 2002. The design of the arena makes it one of the loudest venues in college basketball, creating a hostile playing environment for visitors. During the 1998-99 season, the St. Petersburg Times conducted a study of decibel levels at collegiate basketball arenas. A Lobo game at The Pit registered the loudest at 118 decibels, comparable to a turbo-fan aircraft at takeoff power. Noise levels up to 125 decibels have been measured, close to the pain threshold for the human ear. Contributing to the intimidating environment for visitors is the mile high elevation of The Pit, emphasized to visiting teams with a message along the wall of the tunnel leading from the locker rooms down to the playing floor saying, "Welcome to the legendary Pit, a mile high and louder than..."
The Pit has garnered praise as one of the top venues in college basketball from sports publications, announcers, and opposing coaches. In 1999, Sports Illustrated listed The Pit as 13th in its feature on the Top Twenty Sporting Venues of the 20th Century, while other writers and announcers have also counted The Pit among top college basketball venues. Jim Boeheim praised the exciting atmosphere coaching at The Pit, and Lute Olson has observed that The Pit crowd can dictate the tempo and momentum of a game. Rick Majerus, who compiled a 5-11 record against the Lobos at The Pit, tying him with Don Haskins for most wins by a visiting coach, praised the intensity and dedication of Lobo fans and their knowledge of the game, and San Diego State Coach Steve Fisher has echoed those sentiments.
Renovations completed in 2010 added space and state-of-the-art amenties for fans and players. Luxury suites and club seats were added, as well as digital video boards, expanded concourses, additional restrooms and concession stands, and upgraded training facilities, while preserving the historic character of the building. The upgrade reduced seating capacity to 15,411, trading some seating for greater comfort and amenities. The building facade was also transformed, adding extensive glasswork and a steel superstructure.
The official mascot of the University of New Mexico is the "Lobo," the Spanish word for "wolf," adopted by the school in 1920. Human mascots, dubbed "Lobo Louie" and "Lobo Lucy," members of the cheerleading squad, roam The Pit during games rousing and entertaining fans. During the 1980s, a popular chant among Lobo fans was "Everyone's a Lobo, Woof Woof Woof!," coupled with a hand gesture emulating a wolf. The cheer was phased out during the '90s, but it has grown popular again in recent years.
At the start of each half during Lobo games at The Pit, fans continue to stand and clap their hands until both teams score a basket, adding pressure on teams that struggle to score for long stretches. The student section in The Pit, Section 26, is particularly noteworthy for the antics of its raucous fans, taunting and intimidating opposing players, often with personal remarks, and offering enticing visuals for television broadcasters: They chant, jump up and down, shake newspapers and signs to make noise and create distractions, and some dress in costume and body paint. The noise level of the boisterous fans, the intimacy created by seating extending to the edge of the court, and the elevation contribute to what Coach Dave Bliss termed a "Pit game."
The Lobo Howl is an event held initially on midnight of the first day the NCAA allows teams to practice. Over the years it has evolved into a family-like atmosphere held during the evening, including player introductions, practice drills and scrimmages, three-point shooting and slam dunk contests, and other festivities. Student-athletes from both men's and women's squads participate and sign autographs for fans, and the event is also used to attract recruits who are invited to attend. The 2013 Howl drew over 10,000 fans and featured the introduction of new coach Craig Neal, who entered the arena on his motorcycle.
Sportscaster Mike Roberts was the "Voice of the Lobos" on KKOB radio in Albuquerque from 1966 to 2008, becoming an icon among Lobo fans. He was an integral part of the Lobo fan experience, especially during the time before most games were televised. Roberts noted the noise level in The Pit as a challenge for a broadcaster. "There were a lot of times when I knew I was calling the game because my lips were moving, but I couldn't hear a thing I said." Many fans were disappointed and outraged when Roberts was dismissed by KKOB in 2008. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson declared May 8, 2008 as "Mike Roberts Appreciation Day" in honor of the sportscaster. In 1999, Roberts was inducted into the University of New Mexico Athletic Hall of Honor by the Alumni Lettermen's Association and received the Distinguished Service Award. Roberts was also inducted into the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame.
The Lobos compete in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) in NCAA Division I, joining as a founding member in 1999. The Lobos won the MWC regular season championship in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013, and they won the conference tournament in 2005, 2012, and 2013.
In 1931, Lobo athletic teams began competing in the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association, joining as a founding member along with other regional schools. The Lobos won the conference basketball championship in 1944 and 1945, seasons with shortened schedules due to World War II. UNM left the Border Conference in 1951 to join the Mountain States Conference, then known as the Skyline Eight.
In 1962, the Lobos became a founding member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). They led the WAC in overall winning percentage over the seventeen-season span from 1962 to 1979, posting a won-loss record of 328–161 (.671). The Lobos won the WAC regular season championship in 1964, 1968, 1974, 1978, and 1994, and they won the conference tournament in 1993 and 1996. The Lobos and several other conference members left the WAC to form the MWC in 1999.
- Career wins, winning percentage (minimum 75 games coached):
Pre-Bob King era
The following table summarizes the records and accomplishments of the coaches before Bob King.
|1899-1911||none||20-10||.667||Sporadic games, six in 1908 most for one year|
|1911-1917||Ralph Hutchinson||32-8||.800||More frequent games, still irregular|
|1917-1919||John F. McGough||2-4||.333|
|1920-1931||Roy Johnson||95-49||.660||Carlisle Gym opens, regular schedule established|
|1931-1933||Tom Churchill||23-12||.657||Join Border Conf.|
|1933-1940||Roy Johnson||70-97||.425||Johnson, 165-146 (.531)|
|1940-1941||Dr. Benjamin Sacks||5-17||.227|
|1943-1944||George White||11-2||.846||Border Conf. Champions ‘44|
|1944-1951||Woody Clements||84-76||.525||Border Conf. Champions ‘45|
|1951-1952||Berl Huffman||6-19||.240||Join Skyline Eight|
|1953-1955||Woody Clements||29-43||.403||Clements, 113-119 (.487)|
- Johnson, 111-53 (.677) after 1934 season, 137-73 (.652) after 1936, 28-73 (.277) in last four seasons
- Clements, 41-19 (.683) after 1947, 72-100 (.419) thereafter
- Pre-Border Conf., 145-70 (.674) from 1899-1931
- Border Conf., 205-235 (.466) from 1931-1951
- Skyline Eight, 70-195 (.264) from 1951-1962
- Pre-Bob King, 425-509 (.455)
- Since arrival of Bob King, 999-566 (.638)
Yearly results, 1962-present
Lobo basketball first attained national prominence after hiring Bob King as head coach in 1962.
Yearly results and accomplishments from that point to the present follow:
|Bob King (Western Athletic Conference) (1962–1972)|
|1963-1964||New Mexico||23-6||7-3||T-1st||NIT Runner-up|
|1964-1965||New Mexico||19-8||5-5||T-2nd||NIT 2nd Round|
|1966-1967||New Mexico||19-8||5-5||T-3rd||NIT 2nd Round|
|1967-1968||New Mexico||23-5||8-2||1st||NCAA consolation game|
|Bob King:||175-89 (.663)||58–54 (.518)|
|Norm Ellenberger (Western Athletic Conference) (1972–1979)|
|1972-1973||New Mexico||21-6||9-5||T-2nd||NIT 1st Round|
|1973-1974||New Mexico||22-7||10-4||1st||NCAA Regional Third Place|
|1974-1975||New Mexico||13 13||4-10||7th|
|1977-1978||New Mexico||24-4||13-1||1st||NCAA Round of 32|
|1978-1979||New Mexico||19-10||8-4||3rd||NIT 1st Round|
|Norm Ellenberger:||134-62 (.684)||60–36 (.625)|
|Charlie Harrison (Western Athletic Conference) (1979–1980)|
|Charlie Harrison:||6-22 (.214)||3-11 (.214)|
|Gary Colson (Western Athletic Conference) (1980–1988)|
|1983-1984||New Mexico||24-11||10-6||3rd||NIT 1st Round|
|1984-1985||New Mexico||19-13||9-7||T-3rd||NIT 2nd Round|
|1985-1986||New Mexico||17-14||8-8||5th||NIT 1st Round|
|1986-1987||New Mexico||25-10||11-5||T-3rd||NIT 1st Round|
|1987-1988||New Mexico||22-14||8-8||T-5th||NIT 3rd Round|
|Gary Colson:||146-106 (.579)||57-63 (.508)|
|Dave Bliss (Western Athletic Conference) (1988–1999)|
|1988-1989||New Mexico||22-11||11-5||T-2nd||NIT Quarterfinals|
|1989-1990||New Mexico||20-14||9-7||5th||NIT Final Four|
|1990-1991||New Mexico||20-10||10-6||3rd||NCAA 1st Round|
|1991-1992||New Mexico||20-13||11-5||3rd||NIT Quarterfinals|
|1992-1993||New Mexico||24-7||13-5||3rd||NCAA 1st Round|
|1993-1994||New Mexico||23-8||14-4||1st||NCAA 1st Round|
|1995-1996||New Mexico||28-5||14-4||2nd||NCAA 2nd Round|
|1996-1997||New Mexico||25-8||11-5||3rd (Mountain)||NCAA 2nd Round|
|1997-1998||New Mexico||24-8||11-3||2nd (Mountain)||NCAA 2nd Round|
|1998-1999||New Mexico||25-9||9-5||T-2nd (Pacific)||NCAA 2nd Round|
|Dave Bliss:||246–108 (.695)||122–58 (.678)|
|Fran Fraschilla (Mountain West Conference) (1999–2002)|
|1999-2000||New Mexico||18-14||9-5||3rd||NIT 2nd Round|
|2000-2001||New Mexico||21-13||6-8||T-5th||NIT Quarterfinals|
|2001-2002||New Mexico||16-14||6-8||T-6th||NIT 1st round|
|Fran Fraschilla:||55-41 (.573)||21–21 (.500)|
|Ritchie McKay (Mountain West Conference) (2002–2007)|
|2004-2005||New Mexico||26-7||10-4||2nd||NCAA 1st Round (0-1)|
|Ritchie McKay:||82-69 (.543)||31–43 (.419)|
|Steve Alford (Mountain West Conference) (2007–2013)|
|2007-2008||New Mexico||24–9||11–5||3rd||NIT 1st Round (0-1)|
|2008-2009||New Mexico||22–12||12–4||T–1st||NIT 2nd Round (1-1)|
|2009-2010||New Mexico||30–5||14–2||1st||NCAA 2nd Round (1-1)|
|2010-2011||New Mexico||22-13||8-8||5th||NIT 2nd Round (1-1)|
|2011-2012||New Mexico||28-7||10-4||T–1st||NCAA 3rd Round (1-1)|
|2012-2013||New Mexico||29-6||13-3||1st||NCAA 2nd Round (0-1)|
|Steve Alford:||155–52 (.749)||68–26 (.723)|
|Craig Neal (Mountain West Conference) (2013–present)|
|Craig Neal:||0-0 (–)||0-0 (–)|
National champion Conference regular season champion Conference tournament champion
Conference championships (10: 5 WAC, 3 MWC, 2 Border)
- 4 - Steve Alford (MWC: 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)
- 2 - Bob King (WAC: 1964, 1968)
- 2 - Norm Ellenberger (WAC: 1974, 1978)
- 1 - Dave Bliss (WAC: 1994)
- 1 - Woody Clements (Border: 1945)
- 1 - George Ellis (Border: 1944)
Tournament Championships (5: 3 MWC, 2 WAC)
- 2 - Steve Alford (MWC: 2012, 2013)
- 2 - Dave Bliss (WAC: 1993, 1996)
- 1 - Ritchie McKay (MWC: 2005)
NCAA Tournament appearances (14: 8-15 record)
- 7 - Dave Bliss (1991, 1993–94, 1996–99), 4-7 record in NCAA tournament
- 3 - Steve Alford (2010, 2012, 2013), 2-3
- 2 - Norm Ellenberger (1974, 1978), 2-2
- 1 - Bob King (1968), 0-2
- 1 - Ritchie McKay (2005), 0-1
20-win seasons (26)
- 10 - Dave Bliss (high: 28)
- 6 - Steve Alford (30 - school record)
- 3 - Norm Ellenberger (24)
- 3 - Gary Colson (25)
- 2 - Bob King (23)
- 1 - Fran Fraschilla (21)
- 1 - Ritchie McKay (26)
30-win seasons (1)
- 1 - Steve Alford (30- school record)
|Coach||Record vs. BCS||Winning Pct. vs BCS|
Individual and team records
Individual and team records are published in detail in the 2012-13 Lobo Media Guide.
The Lobos received their first national ranking in the 1964-65 season, reaching #10. They spent about half of the 1966-67 season in the top six nationally, reaching #3, their highest ranking ever. They were ranked in the top ten for much of the 1967-68 season, peaking at #4, and they were in the top twenty most of the following season. They were ranked for much of the 1973-74 season, reaching #8, and again in 1977-78 when they peaked at #5. They were ranked briefly in 1988 and 1993, then regularly from 1996 through 1999. They have been regularly ranked from the 2009-10 through the 2012-13 seasons and enter 2013-14 ranked in several pre-season polls.
Western Athletic Conference tournament
|1984||UTEP||62–55||New Mexico||Special Events Center||El Paso, Texas||Juden Smith, UTEP|
|1987||Wyoming||64–62||New Mexico||The Pit||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Eric Leckner, Wyoming|
|1993||New Mexico||76–65||UTEP||Delta Center||Salt Lake City, Utah||Ike Williams, New Mexico|
|1996||New Mexico||64–60||Utah||The Pit||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Kenny Thomas, New Mexico|
|1998||UNLV||56–51||New Mexico||Thomas & Mack Center||Las Vegas, Nevada||Kenny Thomas, New Mexico|
|1999||Utah||60–45||New Mexico||Thomas & Mack Center||Las Vegas, Nevada||Alex Jensen, Utah|
Mountain West Conference tournament
|2001||BYU||69–65||New Mexico||Thomas & Mack Center||Paradise, Nevada||Mekeli Wesley, BYU|
|2005||New Mexico||60–56||Utah||Pepsi Center||Denver, Colorado||Danny Granger, New Mexico|
|2012||New Mexico||68–59||San Diego State||Thomas & Mack Center||Paradise, Nevada||Drew Gordon, New Mexico|
|2013||New Mexico||63–56||UNLV||Thomas & Mack Center||Paradise, Nevada||Tony Snell, New Mexico|
New Mexico has a history of disappointing performances in the NCAA tournament, suffering noteworthy upsets in 1968, 1978, 1993, 2010, and 2013. Nevertheless, they have won at least one game in the tournament in six of their last eight appearances. The Lobos have made a total of 14 appearances in the NCAA tournament, compiling an overall record of 8–15.
Regional 3rd Place Game
New Mexico State
Regional 3rd Place Game
|1978||–||Regional Quarterfinals||Cal State Fullerton||L 85–90|
|1991||#14||First Round||#3 Oklahoma State||L 54–67|
|1993||#5||First Round||#12 George Washington||L 68-82|
|1994||#10||First Round||#7 Virginia||L 54–57|
|#10 Kansas State
|#14 Old Dominion
|2005||#12||First Round||#5 Villanova||L 47–55|
|#12 Long Beach State
|2013||#3||Second Round||#14 Harvard||L 62–68|
The Lobos have appeared in 19 National Invitation Tournaments (NIT). Their combined record is 18–20.
|1965||Quarterfinals||St. John's||L 54–61|
|1973||First Round||Virginia Tech||L 63–65|
|1979||First Round||Texas A&M||L 68–79|
|1984||First Round||Lamar||L 61–64|
|1986||First Round||Texas||L 66–69|
|1987||First Round||Oregon State||L 82–85|
3rd Place Game
|2002||First Round||Minnesota||L 62–96|
|2008||First Round||California||L 66–68|
- The Pit, New Mexico Official Athletic Site.
- In 1999, Sports Illustrated ranked The Pit as one of the Top 20 Sporting Venues of the 20th Century. SI's Top 20 Venues of the 20th Century, Sports Illustrated, June 7, 1999.
- NCAA Video, 1983: NC State's last second lay-in, NCAA.com.
- Roy Johnson, New Mexico Official Athletic Site.
- Gugliotta, Terry. "University Arena". University Archives. Center for Southwest Research. Archived from the original on 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
- New Mexico Lobo 2012-13 Media Guide, p. 148.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 147.
- Roy W. Johnson, Johnson Center, New Mexico's Digital Collections, University Libraries, Center for Regional Studies, University of New Mexico.
- Richard Stevens, The Passion of Pit Basketball Started in Johnson Gym, New Mexico Official Athletics Site, June 9, 2013.
- Rick Wright, Lobo Sports Have Grown in Wins, Popularity, Albuquerque Journal, April 10, 2005.
- Ira Harge, ABA Stats, Basketball Reference.com.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 152.
- Media Guide 2012-13, pp. 111, 114.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 146.
- Media Guide 2012-13, pp. 87, 152.
- UTEP was still known as Texas Western at the time, shortly before changing its name in 1967.
- Ten or more points and rebounds in a game.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 87.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 104.
- Mel Daniels, NBA & ABA Stats, Basketball Reference.com.
- Media Guide, p. 158.
- NCAA Video, 1966: Win for Civil Rights, NCAA.com.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 122.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 118.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 130.
- See box scores, Media Guide 2012-13, p. 132.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 112.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 94.
- Gibson later taught for more than three decades in the Albuquerque Public School system, gaining recognition as a mentor and role model, and he was named to the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Petie Gibson, Profile, New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 114.
- Mark Smith, Give Him Liberty, Albuquerque Journal, Apr. 1, 2012.
- Richard Stevens, Ellenberger, Colson Find Good Times, Bad Times, With Lobos, New Mexico Official Athletics Site, June 13, 2013.
- Mark Smith, Lobos went Stormin’ with Norman, Albuquerque Journal, June 23, 2013.
- Lee Benson, This is Just Norm-al for the Miners, Deseret News, March 11, 1989.
- William C. Dowling, Confessions of a Spoilsport: My Life and Hard Times Fighting Sports Corruption at an Old Eastern University (2007), p.13.
- Alfred Romo, A Perfect Storm: The 1977-78 New Mexico Lobos, Wolf-Bytes.com (2010).
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 102.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 153.
- 1972-73 New Mexico Lobos Roster and Stats, Sports-Reference.com.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 120.
- 1973-74 New Mexico Lobos Roster and Stats, Sports-Reference.com.
- 1973-74 Western Athletic Conference Season Summary, Sports-Reference.com.
- See game box scores, Media Guide 2012-13, p. 132.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 103.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.4
- The Lobo Pit, Venue History
- Media Guide 2012-13, p. 113.
- Media Guide 2012-13, pp. 94, 96, 139.
- Michael Cooper, Basketball-Reference.com.
- Media Guide 2012-13, pp.84-85
- Johnson had established the school record at 46 points earlier in the season before his 50-point performance, which broke the WAC conference single-game record and earned him the Sports Illustrated Player of the Week honor. Media Guide 2012-13, p.99.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.85
- Rick Wright, ’78 loss as painful as it gets for Lobos, Albuquerque Journal, Mar. 24, 2013.
- The 1976-77 team still holds the school record for most total rebounds and most blocked shots in a season. Media Guide 2012-13, p.120.
- The 77-78 team still holds the Lobo record for most steals per game. Media Guide 2012-13, p.117.
- The Lobos were among the top 12 in the nation in scoring for Ellenberger's final three years, topping a hundred points 25 times and registering six of the school's top eight single-game scoring totals. Media Guide 2012-13, pp. 83, 116.
- See box score, Media Guide 2012-13, p. 132.
- Rick Wright, '78 loss as painful as it gets for Lobos, Albuquerque Journal, Mar. 24, 2013.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.104.
- Dowling (2007), pp.20-26. Dowling provides a detailed account of the schemes employed by Lobo coaches and complicit junior college administrators to gain eligibility for players, including passages from the federal trial transcript.
- Dowling (2007), p.26.
- Dave Anderson, Sports of the Times; in The Pit, Lobogate Lives, N.Y. Times, Apr. 3, 1983.
- Mark Smith, Lobogate Destroyed Basketball Program in '79, Sept. 15, 2007.
- Robert H. Boyle, A Scandal That Just Gets Worse And Worse, Sports Illustrated, June 9, 1980.
- Curt Holbreich, Lobos Going From Pit Toward the Penthouse, L.A. Times, Jan. 14, 1988.
- Ellenberger served as interim head coach at UTEP for a period when Haskins was ill. Bobbi Roquemore, Ellenberger enjoys the simple life, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 25, 2004.
- Ed Johnson, Harrison's Lobos fought adversity, Albuquerque Journal, June 30, 2013.
- Page also holds the Lobo record for career points per game (26.2), also the top scoring average in WAC history. Media Guide 2012-13, pp.84,108.
- Smith is now second in career assists and third in career steals. Media Guide 2012-13, pp.85,94,96,107.
- 1980-81 Pacific-10 Conference Season Summary; 1980-81 Arizona State Sun Devils Roster and Stats.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.4
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.119.
- Dolensky and Smith remain the top two on the list, while Garrett is now tied for fourth. Media Guide 2012-13, p.97.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.154.
- Media Guide 2012-13, pp.120-21.
- Scott is the Lobo career leader in field goal percentage, at .622 (1982-85). Media Guide 2012-13, p.89.
- New Mexico Lobos Roster and Stats, 1984-85, Sports-Reference.com.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.119
- Richard Stevens, The Pit at 40: From peak to scandal to Colson - 1973 to 1988, Albuquerque Tribune, Nov. 9, 2006.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.103
- New Mexico Lobos Roster and Stats, 1985-86, Sports-Reference.com.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.109
- New Mexico Lobos Roster and Stats, 1986-87, Sports-Reference.com.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.120.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.96.
- Scarborough (at 3rd) and Greene (tied for 4th) also remain among the all-time leaders for minutes played in a season for 1986-87. Media Guide 2012-13, p.97.
- Western Athletic Conference Season Summary, 1986-87, Sports-Reference.com.
- Media Guide 2012-13, pp.100, 154.
- He also holds the team record for assists in a game, 21. Media Guide 2012-13, pp.94,106.
- Like Petie Gibson, Scarborough became a long-time coach in Albuquerque, at Menaul School, and mentor to at-risk youth. Ed Johnson, Ex-Lobo Star Wants To Help, But Feels Rebuffed, Albuquerque Journal, May 15, 2011.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.113.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.106
- Mark Smith, Colson’s best-laid plans were axed, Albuquerque Journal, July 7, 2013.
- Pete Herrera, Tearful Gary Colson Quits as Lobo Basketball Coach, Deseret News, Apr. 27 1988; Chris Baker, Strong Survivor: Gary Colson, Ousted at New Mexico, Lands on His Feet as an Assistant at Cal, Deseret News, Dec. 6, 1988.
- Kenny Thomas, Career Stats Page, NBA.com.
- Media Guide 2011-12, p. 7.
- Katz, Andy (March 30, 2013). "UCLA hires Steve Alford". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Katz, Andy (April 2, 2013). "New Mexico hires Craig Neal". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- New Mexico Basketball 2012-13 Media Guide, pp.111, 114.
- College Basketball's Top 10 Arena Nicknames, Athlon Sports, Mar. 27, 2013.
- UNM Mourns Passing of Bob King; Services Next Wednesday at The Pit, New Mexico Official Athletic Site, Dec. 10, 2004.
- The Pit, New Mexico Official Athletic Site.
- Doug Ward, Dig this: The Pit's on a high, ESPN Sports Travel, Jan. 12, 2011.
- Andy Katz, Bucket List: The Pit, ESPN.com, Aug. 16, 2013
- Loudest Arena in the Country, New Mexico Lobo Media Guide 2008-09, p.1.
- Noise Sources and Their Effects, University of Purdue
- SI's Top 20 Venues of the 20th Century, Sports Illustrated, June 7, 1999.
- Mark Smith, New Pit Adds Amenities While Retaining Heart and Soul, Albuquerque Journal, Oct. 31, 2010.
- Media Guide 2012-13, pp.2,5.
- Mark Smith, Majerus To Have Pit Jumping, Albuquerque Journal, Dec. 31, 2011.
- Majerus returns to the Pit in St. Louis Blue, KRQE-TV, Dec. 30, 2011.
- New Mexico shows off $60M upgrade to The Pit, CBSSports.com, Oct. 14, 2010.
- Neal Singer, Pride and the Pit, Southwest Contractor (August 2009).
- Geoff Grammer, Lobo Tickets Going Quickly, Albuquerque Journal, Feb 27, 2013.
- UNM Traditions - The Lobo Nickname, University of New Mexico.
- UNM Traditions - The Lobo Mascot, University of New Mexico.
- Everyone's A Lobo!, LoboTV, Dec. 2, 2010.
- See, e.g., Mark Smith, No Disputing the Result: Lobos Overwhelm Rams, Albuquerque Journal, Feb. 6, 2008.
- See, e.g., The Pit, CSTV feature, Feb 18, 2010; New Mexico Basketball - THE PIT - Naismith Student Section Award Video, LoboTV, Jan 17, 2012; New Mexico Lobos Section 26, LoboTV, Mar 8, 2013
- Mark Smith, Lobo Basketball Starts With a Howl, Albuquerque Journal, Oct 14, 2011.
- Geoff Grammer & Ken Sickenger, Lobo Howl: Fans, players enjoy the ride, Albuquerque Journal, Oct. 18, 2013.
- Greg Archuleta, UNM Unplugs Voice of Lobos, Albuquerque Journal, Apr. 26, 2008.
- Richard Stevens, Why not just take The Pit away, too?, Albuquerque Tribune, Mar. 15, 2008.
- Governor Richardson Declares Mike Roberts Day, UNM News, May 9, 2008.
- Hall of Honor, New Mexico Official Athletics Site
- Mike Roberts, New Mexico Official Athletics Site
- For yearly records and game results from 1899-1962, see Media Guide 2012-13, pp. 146-51.
- For yearly records and game results from 1962-2012, see Media Guide 2012-13, pp. 151-57.
- BCS schools are those from conferences with automatic bids to the Bowl Championship Series in football: the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, and Pac-12.
- Media Guide 2011-12, p. 6.
- See Media Guide 2012-13, pp. 83-145.
- Media Guide 2012-13, p.102.
- NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Rankings, NCAA, Oct 17, 2013.
- Media Guide 2012-13, pp.131-36.
- New Mexico Men's Basketball, 2012-13 Media Guide
- University of New Mexico Official Athletic Site, Men's Basketball
- University of New Mexico Official Athletic Site, The Pit