DeBesse, UNM’s offensive coordinator the past six years, has been hired in the same capacity at Georgia Southern.
“Can’t tell you how honored I am to be a part of such a tradition-rich program and a passionate fan base,” DeBesse posted on Twitter. “(Wife) Janet and I look forward to getting to Statesboro and joining the GSU community!”
Georgia Southern won six NCAA Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision) titles between 1985-2000. The Eagles advanced to the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in 2014.
New Mexico coach Bob Davie’s dismissal of DeBesse suggested that Davie wants to scrap DeBesse’s triple option-based scheme that was so effective at UNM for five years but sputtered this fall.
That won’t be the case at Georgia Southern, which has a long history with the triple option.
Paul Johnson, who runs a triple-option offense at Georgia Tech, coached at Georgia Southern from 1997-2001 before moving to Navy. Willie Fritz, who was DeBesse’s head coach at Sam Houston State from 2010-11, was the Georgia Southern coach from 2014-15 and ran a similar scheme.
“I am thrilled to add Bob DeBesse to our staff as the offensive coordinator,” Eagles coach Chad Lunsford said in a news release. “I wanted to make sure that we got someone who understood what Georgia Southern Football is all about and that is exactly what we got.
“Bob knows the option offense and he brings three decades of coaching knowledge and experience to our program.”
Georgia Southern competes in the Sun Belt Conference. The Eagles went 2-10 this fall, including a 35-27 loss to New Mexico State on Oct. 24.
Coach Tyson Summers was fired in October after going 0-6. Lunsford was named interim head coach and went 2-4 the rest of the way. He had the “interim” tag removed after the season finale.
During DeBesse’s six-year stay at UNM, the Lobos five times ranked in the top ten in rushing yardage per game. They led the nation in that category in 2016, averaging 350 yards.
This fall, that average dropped to 235 yards, ranking 19th nationally, as the Lobos — 16-10 with bowl appearances the previous two years — dropped to 3-9.
UNM COMMITMENT: David Zavala, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive lineman from Cerritos College in Norwalk, Calif., announced on Twitter that he has committed to attend UNM.
Zavala, from Lakewood, Calif., redshirted at Nevada in 2015 before transferring to Cerritos. He’ll be a junior next season.