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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Barlow leaves with loss, respect

football
By Laurisa Galvan / New Mexico Daily Lobo

Former interim head football coach George Barlow celebrated with his team after the Lobos beat UNLV 21-14 on Nov. 12. Barlow coached his final game for UNM last Saturday against Boise State.

George Barlow’s tenure as interim head football coach, and the football team’s season, ended Saturday with a 45-0 blowout loss to No. 7 Boise State.

Barlow, who was the assistant coach at UNM for the past three years, took over Sept. 25 after then-head coach Mike Locksley was fired.

Barlow finished with a 1-7 record, his only win against UNLV on Nov. 12.

“It’s been difficult, but at the same time it’s been fun,” he said. “When you are in my position and want to be a head coach someday, not too many coaches have that opportunity to have a trial run as a head coach.”

One bright spot was the performance of senior linebacker Carmen Messina, who on Saturday played his last game for UNM. Messina moved up to third on the all-time tackles list, passing former Lobo legend Brian Urlacher.

Messina ends his Lobo career with a total of 454 tackles.

Sophomore defensive lineman Jacori Greer said Barlow assumed the head coaching position during a tumultuous time for the Lobo football program.

“He was dealt a hard hand,” Greer said. “He’s a great guy and a great coach. If he’s not coaching here next year, he’ll definitely be coaching somewhere else and be very successful.”

Barlow said his time as interim head coach was a learning experience, and he gained skills and knowledge that will help him in his coaching career.

“I have enjoyed the process, even though we have not won as many games as I would have liked to, but the whole process has been fun for me,” he said.

Barlow said the most difficult part of the job was raising the morale of the team after tough defeats. As the defensive coordinator earlier in the year, he only had to worry about getting the defense ready, he said.

“You have to find the way to push the buttons of an entire team,” he said. “I didn’t know if I had the ability to do that, but I have found out that I do.”

Former Notre Dame head football coach Bob Davie takes the reins of the Lobo football program, which has finished 1-11 three seasons in a row.