When University of New Mexico football coach Bob Davie walked on the field in late 2011, his new program was deep in enemy territory. The Lobos had gone 2-26 under Mike Locksley and 1-7 under interim coach George Barlow after Locksley was finally fired.
On many occasions it seemed there were more people on the University Stadium field than in the stands.
In his first year as head coach, the former Notre Dame head coach and veteran television game analyst made huge strides in putting a competitive team on the field.
UNM won more games than in the three prvious years combined with a 4-9 record, ranked fifth nationally in rushing offense and narrowed its margin of loss from around 30 points a game to five. Rather than serial blowout losses, the team had chances to salvage victories even in some of the games it lost.
Under Davie’s leadership the team has gained yardage off the field as well. The Lobos’ 2012 fall 2.62 grade-point average is the program’s highest since 2008, and no fewer than 14 cherry-and-silver players earned Mountain West Conference All-Academic honors, the most since the league’s inception in 1999.
So the largely symbolic move to extend his contract by two years is well-deserved. It won’t cost boosters, fans or students anything but extends the goodwill Davie certainly has earned. UNM Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs says “we want to send a message, I think, not only to our fans and supporters but to our current players and future players that there’s stability in our program.”
And that’s a good call.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.