ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Clark Hunt is busy relishing in the success of the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs, the NFL team he owns.
But he took time Monday to discuss his Major League Soccer team, FC Dallas, and its vacant coaching position with New Mexico men’s coach Jeremy Fishbein.
Fishbein won’t be packing his bags for Dallas, but says he is flattered by the interview.
Fishbein spoke to UNM athletic director Paul Krebs and to his players before going to Dallas.
“We’ve got the best guys in the world,” Fishbein said. “They were excited, excited for me. And they realized it was a compliment to them.”
Krebs said he had a healthy conversation with Fishbein, who is under contract until June 2017 and has a yearly base salary of $107,969.
“I personally thought it was appropriate that he listen to them,” Krebs said. “But that’s not to misread that we don’t want him. He’s a wonderful coach. His teams are competitive athletically and are successful academically and in the community.”
Fishbein is 164-52-28 in his 12th season as UNM’s coach, and the Lobos have been to the NCAA Tournament in nine of 11 years. He has had 10 All-Americans, and 18 Lobos have been named academic All-American.
This season the Lobos are 10-4-2, and they are ranked eighth in the NCAA RPI standings and 23rd in the coaches’ poll. They play Kentucky at home Saturday with a chance to win the Conference USA regular-season title.
Fishbein said he does not think the timing of the interview will be a distraction.
“It was great,” he said of the interview. “It’s flattering. But, hey, this is home. I’m really happy here. This is the best place for my family right now.
“Opportunities will come, if that’s the direction I decide to take in my coaching career. But, man, I love it here. I love Albuquerque. I love New Mexico. I love our guys.”
He said he believes Krebs understands how he feels.
“I couldn’t ask for more in terms of a boss,” Fishbein said. “They’ve made this a great situation for our players, for our coaches, for my family. You couldn’t ask for anything more. It would take a hell of a lot to get me out of Albuquerque, I’ll tell you that.”