University of New Mexico head football coach Bob Davie will return for the 2019 season, Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez announced in a statement on Friday night. The statement, in its entirety, is below:
“After meeting with Coach Davie, both he and I are looking forward to the 2019 season,” Nuñez said in a release.
“Recruiting is already in full swing. Since taking over in 2012, the team has set records in the classroom, won a division title and qualified for two bowl games. Neither Coach Davie nor I were satisfied with the results of last season. Coach Davie and his staff, as well as our department, are striving to make the 2019 season a success, and that process has already started. Coach Davie wants to be at New Mexico and wants nothing more than a program that our University and our fans can be proud of. He is committed to working tirelessly to return UNM to the level of success in 2015 and 2016. We both are excited for the upcoming 2019 season.”
Davie has been under fire both for the results of the team the past two years and a pair of investigations into his conduct that took place following the 2017 season and resulted in him being suspended for 30 days without pay and missing spring practice.
The investigation done by the University Office of Equal Opportunity found that there were “significant environmental concerns and a failure to follow civil rights reporting protocol and policy.”
Controversy struck the program again when senior linebacker Evah Tohi was suspended following a fight with teammate David Brown in the early hours after the Lobos returned from Utah State in late October. Tohi was allowed to practice in the first two days following the incident before a suspension was announced the following Tuesday night after KOB-TV reported on the fight.
On the field, the Lobos just completed a second straight 3-9 season that ended with a seven-game losing streak. UNM ended the season with a 31-3 loss to Wyoming and managed only 83 yards of total offense, which was the lowest total since a 47-0 loss to Texas in 1988.
Davie is under contract through the 2021 season after receiving an extension following the Lobos victory over the University of Texas-San Antonio in the 2016 New Mexico Bowl. He took over the program following the 2011 season and helped return the Lobos to respectability after a three-year stretch which saw them win only three games under previous head coach Mike Locksley. That culminated with back-to-back New Mexico Bowl appearances after winning seven games in 2015 and nine in 2016.
In order to fire Davie, UNM would have owed him the $1.27 million remaining on the contract.
UNM has already lost two of its defensive standouts from last year to transfers, as Marcus Hayes and sack leader Rhashaun Epting have announced their intention to seek a new program.
Davie and his staff will spend the coming weeks focused on recruiting, and the early signing period for football will begin on Dec. 19 and run through Dec. 21.
Cameron Goeldner is a senior reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer, women’s basketball, softball and the Albuquerque Isotopes, but also contributes content for all other sports. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @goeldfinger.
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