Tod Brown, a former head coach at North Dakota State University (NDSU), was announced as the new head coach for the University of New Mexico baseball team on Thursday. Brown will be replacing former head coach Ray Birmingham, who announced his retirement in April after 14 seasons with the Lobos. UNM Athletics director Eddie Nuñez said that Birmingham was involved in the process to select a new coach. “When we set out to find a new head coach for our Lobo baseball program, the vision and the goal was to continue to build our program that Birmingham built and elevate it,” Nuñez said.
Under a smoldering Albuquerque sun, New Mexico United returned to Isotopes Park on Saturday, June 12 for a 0-0 draw against Austin Bold FC. Alongside the game, the night was themed “Pride on the Pitch,” supported by 9,288 fans that came to show their pride; the game was completely sold out within its 75% maximum capacity restriction. A tentative game to start, both teams spent the majority of the first half feeling each other out, trading good scoring opportunities at both ends of the field. The ball was skyed on more than one occasion by each team, as the respective defenses swarmed the player who possessed the ball.
Isotopes Park, just a short drive from the University of New Mexico, has been opening its doors to more and more visitors as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gradually lifts COVID-19 restrictions. Just across the street from the University Stadium and The Pit, this minor league team is playing in front of crowds again. The Isotopes returned for their home opener on May 8, over 200 days since they were last able to play at Isotopes Park due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On April 1, University of New Mexico women’s basketball seniors Antonia Anderson and Jaedyn De La Cerda made an official announcement that they were returning to UNM to play a second senior season. This was made possible due to the NCAA giving athletes an extra year of eligibility because the pandemic. De La Cerda and Anderson have spent the past four years of their collegiate careers at UNM, and both were selected to the All-Conference team for their performances last season. In a press conference on April 6, De La Cerda and Anderson said they were exploring their options before making the announcement, but ultimately decided that they would return.
On March 16, 2021, the University of New Mexico announced that it hired Richard Pitino, as the new head coach for the men’s basketball team. In the time since his introductory press conference, Pitino has now begun to fill out his coaching staff for next season. While most assistant coaches’ contracts expire on April 30, Pitino said he’s “trying to take my time, hire the right guys, making sure that they all fit because the bottom line is it’s not going to be about one guy.”
The University of New Mexico women’s golf team has been one of the most successful athletic and academic programs the university has seen over the past 10 years. With this past semester taken into consideration, the team has achieved a 3.9 GPA or higher for four consecutive semesters, 18 semesters of a 3.5 or higher GPA and 36 semesters of a 3.0 GPA or higher. The only thing more consistent than the academic success is head coach Jill Trujillo. Trujillo has led the women’s golf program for the past 14 years, and in that time, she has transformed it into a model of athletic and academic excellence.
The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team completed the sweep against Colorado State to not only clinch the No. 1 seed in the Mountain West Conference tournament, but also secure their first regular season title since 2005. The team held on to win with a final score of 71-62. New Mexico held a 38-32 advantage at halftime, with guard Ahlise Hurst leading the Lobos in scoring with 12 points. The team then came out the gates strong in the second half, scoring 10 points in the first two minutes of the third quarter. However, Colorado State tied the game at 58-58 with just over five minutes left in the game. UNM responded by outscoring the Rams 13-4 down the stretch, securing the win.
The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team beat Colorado State 68-55 in the Lobos’ first official home game of the season at the Pit on Thursday, March 4. The team can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Mountain West Conference tournament with a win against CSU on March 5 in the final game of the regular season. The Lobos took sole possession of first place in the conference with the victory. The Lobos had five players that scored in double figures, contributing all but four of the team’s total 68 points. Junior forward Shaiquel McGruder led UNM with 16 points, while senior guard Antonia Anderson brought down 11 rebounds.
For the first time this season, the UNM women’s basketball team will take the floor at the Pit for two home games as they welcome Colorado State on March 4-5 for the final two-game series of the season. Both games will be played at 5 p.m. and broadcast on the Mountain West Network, according to UNM Athletics. Sitting at a 12-3 record, a sweep of the series would catapult UNM into the top seed for the upcoming Mountain West Conference tournament — a favorable position for the team if they hope to take home the championship.
Heather Dyche has lived and breathed soccer for as long as she can remember, and after years of dedication to the field she was elected to the Board of Directors for the United Soccer Coaches, creating another avenue for her to share her passion with others. According to the United Soccer Coaches' website, the organization's goals are "to promote the game of soccer, generate greater publicity for the sport and improve teaching of the game through soccer clinics as well as research and evaluation of coaching of the sport." Dyche said the group oversees collegiate soccer, youth soccer and soccer for people with disabilities, but their focus on advocacy and trying to help people sets them apart from other organizations.
The Washington Football Team made history on Jan. 26 when they announced that Jennifer King was promoted to assistant running backs coach, making her the first Black woman to hold a full-time coaching position in the NFL. Prior to her stint in Washington, King was an offensive assistant at Dartmouth College, interned during multiple offseasons with the Carolina Panthers and was a seven-time All-American quarterback and wide receiver playing for the Carolina Phoenix, a women's tackle football team, from 2006-17. During the 2020 season, King worked as a full-year coaching intern and is credited with helping develop the team's running back corps with the offensive staff and running backs coach Randy Jordan. Under King and Jordan, Washington's running backs totaled 423 rushing attempts for 1,697 yards and 20 touchdowns.
University of New Mexico men’s basketball head coach Paul Weir will step down at the conclusion of the 2020-21. Weir’s exit was announced on Friday, Feb. 26. Weir currently has a 58-60 record at UNM and a career record of 86-66 after coaching one season at New Mexico State University. The announcement came as UNM winds down a tumultuous season that not only saw the Lobos go 6-14 on the season thus far but 2-14 within the Mountain West, a record that has UNM sitting dead last in the conference.
The Mountain West Conference announced last week that the upcoming University of New Mexico’s women’s basketball series against both Colorado State and Wyoming would be postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test within UNM’s program. According to two separate press releases by the MWC, “The rescheduled date will be announced once finalized by the Mountain West and both institutions.” The Lobos received the positive test result in the early morning of Feb. 12 and immediately notified both Colorado State and MWC officials. After discussions between both schools, medical teams and Colorado health officials, the recommendation was made to cancel the game between CSU and UNM.
The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team followed a 84-48 blowout of San Diego State on Feb. 3 with another easy 65-48 win to complete a midweek sweep of the Aztecs. The two victories put the Lobos at 9-2 and third in the Mountain West with eight games remaining in the pandemic-shortened season. Both games featured similar starts and finishes, with low-scoring first halves for UNM before surges in the second frames. The Lobos continued their unselfish playing style with four players scoring in double digits each game. “I thought in the second half, our mental approach was much better than the first half,” head coach Mike Bradbury said in his opening statement after Wednesday’s game. “Things looked a lot sharper and more crisp.”
The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team followed up last Thursday’s 82-80 win over Fresno State with a dud, splitting the two-game series with Saturday’s 91-69 loss. Third in the Mountain West Conference behind Colorado State and Fresno State, the team is now 7-2 on the season. The former matchup was a back and forth affair, coming down to the game’s final possession when junior forward Shaiquel McGruder drained the go-ahead basket with less than three seconds remaining. A steal by junior guard Ahlise Hurst on the ensuing inbound sealed the Lobos’ win.
Teton Saltes, an offensive lineman for the University of New Mexico football team, was presented with the Wuerffel Trophy during the Home Depot College Football Awards on Jan. 7. The trophy is given to an individual that “best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.” Saltes is the first individual to win the award from the Mountain West Conference and the first UNM player to be given a major award in the history of Lobo football. After graduating with a degree in political science and Native American studies, Saltes spent his senior season with UNM while enrolled in the School of Law, spending his free time giving back to both the New Mexico and South Dakota communities.
In a move costing the University of New Mexico an additional $70,000 a week in Athletics department costs, the relocation of the 1-5 Lobo football team to Las Vegas, Nevada, is slated to increase its already-multimillion dollar deficit. Athletics director Eddie Nuñez told the Daily Lobo in a phone interview that the cost of housing the football team out of state will likely result in the department outspending its budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year. “At this point, if you’re asking me today and the challenges we have faced — with not being able to have fans in the stands, and COVID affecting the revenue — I would anticipate a deficit this upcoming year,” Nuñez said.
On Nov. 30, the Mountain West Conference announced in a press release that the two game series between the University of New Mexico and Boise State, which was slated to happen on Dec. 3 and Dec. 5, has been postponed. The conference statement gave some insight into when those games could happen. According to the conference, “The rescheduled dates will be announced once finalized by the Mountain West and both institutions.”
The University of New Mexico football team came into Saturday night’s game against undefeated Nevada looking to snap their 11-game losing streak and pick up their first win of the season. The Lobos came up just short of stopping their lengthy winless stretch, falling to the Wolf Pack 27-20. With the loss, the losing streak for UNM now sits at 12 games, and the theme of second half collapses continued for the third game in a row. Both teams got off to sluggish starts, as the first three possessions of the game resulted in punts. Momentum shifted to the Lobos, though, when UNM’s defense forced a turnover on downs following a sack of Nevada quarterback Carson Strong by Joey Noble.
The 2020 edition of the University of New Mexico football team continued its winless start to the pandemic-plagued season as the Lobos (0-2) lost 39-33 to Hawaii on Saturday, Nov. 7. While the Lobos looked to end their losing streak — which is now up to 11 consecutive games starting with a Sept. 28, 2019 loss at Liberty — that hope would fade by the end of the evening. Things seemed to be in UNM’s favor at the start of the game, as the Lobos flew out to an early 7-0 lead after a three play, 65-yard drive, capped off by a Tevaka Tuioti pass to Jordan Kress for 52 yards.