The pieces of the puzzle for a successful season are coming together for the Lobo football team.
First-year head coach Bob Davie unveiled the coaching staff for the upcoming season at a press conference on Monday. He said every coach is on the same page to end three straight 1-11 seasons.
“You want guys that have different personalities and coaches that have different strengths,” Davie said. “In the end what really matters is that it all fits together and everyone has one common vision. I was very deliberate to make sure that (the) puzzle fit.”
Davie said he wanted to select people for his coaching staff who have a passion for Lobo football. He selected two former UNM coaches, running backs coach DeAndre Smith and offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier.
“I wanted coaches that really wanted to be here,” Davie said. “There is not a coach here that I had to beg to come, and that a very good thing.”
Davie also brought in talent from the highest levels of coaching. Special teams coach Coleman Hutzler hails from Florida and defensive backs coach Jeff Mills joins UNM from the University of Washington.
“I wanted coaches that really shared the same vision that I do and see New Mexico as a really unique place and see the potential that this place has,” Davie said.
Wide receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield and defensive line coach Archie McDaniel both bring in playing experience after they graduated in 2005 from Purdue and Texas A&M, respectively.
Davie said it’s important to have coaches who not only tell the players what to do but can actually show them as well.
Defensive coordinator Ron West comes from Illinois, where he led the Fighting Illini to a top-10 defensive ranking last season.
UNM gave up 35 points or more in nine of its 11 games last season, and West said he is going to put a lot of effort into the defense to limit mistakes.
“We’re going to put a system in the spring and we are going to spend a lot of time with walkthroughs and making sure they understand what they are supposed to do,” West said. “Then we are going to try and execute the scheme and be very demanding of that.”
Offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse and tight ends coach Derek Warehime come to UNM from Sam Houston State, where they led the Bearkats to the Division I-AA national championship game last year.
The Lobos scored higher than 14 points in only two different games last season and were shut out in three games, and DeBesse said he plans on getting his best offensive threats the ball as often as possible.
“There are going to be some features of the offense that we can bring here and we can do without question,” he said. “It just depends on who our playmakers are and how we can devise ways to get the ball in their hands.”
UNM turned the ball over 21 times last season and averaged just under 300 yards per game. DeBesse said he is going to get every one of his players mentally ready to compete and limit mistakes.
“(Discipline) is of the upmost importance,” he said. “Those are the things that coach Davie brought here.”