ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — West Makes Abrupt Switch to Ariz. State
Last week, Ron West said he was looking forward to the challenge of revitalizing the University of New Mexico football team’s defense.
“I love this opportunity. I’m excited about this opportunity,” he said after his introduction as the Lobos’ new defensive coordinator.
This week, West was given an opportunity he found even more exciting — and in all likelihood, financially more rewarding. He accepted a job as co-defensive coordinator at Arizona State.
In 2009, West held the same position at Tulsa under coach Todd Graham, who is now ASU’s first-year head coach.
As excited as West appeared to be about his new job at New Mexico, first-year Lobos coach Bob Davie had seemed even more thrilled about having hired him.
“(West is) a unique guy,” Davie said last week. “… His personality is something that’s contagious.”
Davie said he valued West’s recruiting ability, as well as his skills as a coach.
Tuesday, in reacting to West’s departure, Davie was philosophical.
“It’s unfortunate,” Davie said, “but the business aspect of this (profession) is for real.”
Davie said he would be in no hurry to name a replacement but said candidates could emerge both from outside and from within his current staff.
“Obviously, you always go into this thing (hiring a staff) with a list of names,” he said, “and certainly through this process there’s other coaches that I’ve talked to.
“But the first thing I’m gonna do is really sit down with three coaches we (already) have on defense.”
Davie noted that Jeff Mills, his new defensive backs coach, has prior experience as a defensive coordinator (Idaho, Nevada, Youngstown State).
Defensive line coach Archie McDaniel and outside linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler, he noted, are well-versed in the 3-4 defensive scheme Davie prefers.
“I kind of want to see exactly how this thing fits with the three (defensive coaches) we have,” Davie said. “We’ve got plenty of time here.”
Davie himself spent 10 years as a defensive coordinator at Tulane, Texas A&M and Notre Dame. But it’s highly unlikely, he said, that he would double as defensive coordinator and head coach at UNM.
“I just think we have too many day-to-day things that we need to deal with in the program right now for me to get in that (defensive meeting) room 16 hours a day,” he said. “I don’t think my role on defense will change, regardless of who we hire.”
The Lobos have finished each of the past three seasons with a 1-11 record. Dating to the final four games of the 2008 season, they’ve lost 37 of their last 40.
The Journal was unable to reach West for comment.
STUMP HEADS HOME: Former Lobos quarterback Stump Godfrey will play for Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, next fall, the Corsicana Daily Sun reported.
Corsicana is about 110 miles west of Gilmer, where Godfrey was the Texas Class 3A Player of the Year in leading Gilmer High School to a state championship in 2009.
Godfrey left UNM after the 2010 season and walked on at Hawaii, hoping to earn a scholarship after his redshirt year was complete. But UH coach Greg McMackin retired after the 2011 season, Norm Chow replaced him, and Godfrey’s plans apparently changed.
Godfrey started four games as a UNM freshman, including the Lobos’ only victory of the season — against Wyoming — in 2010.
But with a three-way battle looming for the 2011 starting quarterback spot among himself, Tarean Austin and B.R. Holbrook, Godfrey chose to leave.
Navarro is a two-year school. Godfrey would have two years of eligibility remaining after the 2012 season.
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal