David Reaves has been called Dan Reeves, but don’t jumble the two. Reaves is not to be confused with the famous NFL head coach, who led the Denver Broncos to three Super Bowl appearances in the 1980s and the Atlanta Falcons to the big game in the 1998 season.
There should be no mix-up about who David Reaves is.
He coaches and molds the minds of UNM football players who play the most pressure-ridden position: quarterback.
“The number one thing is we have to have a great decision maker,” Reaves said. “Our guys have got to make the right decision with the football. You have got to protect the ball, great footwork, timing and all the fundamentals of the position. We’ve got to find a guy that can put the ball in the right place at the right time.”
Reaves enters his first year as UNM’s quarterbacks coach and passing coordinator.
He will replace Tee Martin on the Lobo sideline in 2010 after Martin bolted to Kentucky to take the vacant wide receivers’ coach for the Wildcats.
While Reaves might not have the name Martin does, the word on the street is that he’s a pretty darn good college football coach.
“This isn’t his first rodeo as a quarterbacks coach,” said UNM head football coach Mike Locksley. “Dave has done this for a while and the transition (has) been very smooth. He has worked for some pretty good coaches and has a good pedigree as a quarterback coach. I think our players have responded well to him. (He’s a) technician. He is a big guy on attention to detail, and that’s what you need from that position.”
Reaves has worked under two of the most legendary head football coaches of all time.
The 2001 Appalachian State graduate worked under both Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier at South Carolina for about 10 years.
His experience with national-championship-winning head coaches is irreplaceable.
And to win a Mountain West Conference title, Reaves said, the quarterback has to be the Lobos’ leader.
“In this offense, you have to run the show,” he said. “It’s a no-huddle offense that makes all the calls on the line of scrimmage. The guys have done a good job. There is a lot of thinking and heads are swimming a little bit right now, but once we get this thing down, they will be a vocal leader out (on the field) for us.”
Last year, Reaves worked under Lane Kiffin at Tennessee as the quarterback coach.
Kiffin, after telling the university and its fans that he would be a Volunteer for some time, did just the opposite and left after only one season.
Kiffin headed toward the warmer weather, a surrounding he is familiar with, and is now the head coach at his alma mater USC.
He took almost his entire coaching staff to Los Angeles, but left Reaves in Knoxville, Tenn.
Still, Reaves doesn’t care.
He said he likes New Mexico and looks to resurrect the UNM football program.
“It’s been good,” Reaves said. “It’s (my) first time, obviously, in New Mexico, and the staff has been wonderful. The people in the town that I have met have been great to me.”