Few names arouse more ire in longtime UNM football fans than that of Jim Sweeney, the former Fresno State coach. He called the Lobos “baaaaaad” after the Bulldogs routed the Lobos 68-21 in the 1988 season opener. Then, in apparent retribution for a 45-22 New Mexico upset victory in 1989, which ruined an otherwise perfect season for Fresno State, Sweeney shamelessly ran up the score on the Lobos in a 94-17 shellacking in Fresno in 1991.
But there was far more to the man than that, as his former players told the Fresno Bee after Sweeney’s recent death. He taught life lessons, they said, and coached the entire person — not just the athlete.