Following the conclusion of a disappointing 3-9 season, New Mexico football coach Bob Davie announced in a press release that offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse and cornerbacks coach Al Simmons will not be retained.
DeBesse, who became the offensive coordinator in 2012 when Davie took over as head coach, helped to put the triple option into effect and oversaw a resurgence in the Lobos’ offense leading the nation in rushing yards during the 2016 season. The Lobos set numerous school records, including for most rushing touchdowns with 48, scoring 477 points for a scoring average of 36.7 points per game and total offense with 5,939 yards.
However, DeBesse’s offense regressed considerably in 2017. The Lobos scored only 20 points per game, averaging 353 yards per game, after averaging 456 yards per game in 2016. The Lobos’ rushing offense took a step back as well, averaging 240 yards per game and falling out of the top ten nationally in rushing yards for the first time since 2011, the year before DeBesse took over. In addition to his duties as offensive coordinator, DeBesse served as the quarterbacks coach for the first four years of his tenure and as the wide receivers coach for the final two.
Davie addressed the personnel changes in a press release.
“I want to thank both Coach DeBesse and Coach Simmons for what they have contributed to our football program,” Davie said. “Much of our success can be attributed to our offensive scheme, and Bob DeBesse deserves a great amount of credit.”
Simmons was in his third season coaching the cornerbacks at UNM. Prior to coming to New Mexico, he served as the co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Colorado State. In 2017, opponents averaged 226 yards per game through the air and recorded 24 passing touchdowns. The Lobos only managed five interceptions on the third straight year that interceptions declined, down from eight in 2016 and 14 in 2015. In addition, the Lobos’ defense allowed 32 points per game.
“Al Simmons has played a key role in our continued defensive improvement for the last three years with the development of our corners,” Davie said. “I would like to personally thank (Simmons and DeBesse) for their contributions to the University of New Mexico and wish them the best moving forward.”
This gives Davie at least two openings on his coaching staff to fill before next season.
Cameron Goeldner is a freelance sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer, but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @goeldfinger.