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Coach Davie prioritizes players over winning

There has been extensive negative coverage of Bob Davie in the past few weeks, and I felt obligated to share my experiences.

What follows is my personal opinion and does not represent the opinion of UNM or the Regents.

Coach Davie brought me to Albuquerque. I came from a small high school in Mesquite, Texas. There were many opportunities for me to play college football, and I was set on going to the Naval Academy shortly before signing day.

Coach Davie changed my mind. He came to my home and explained his vision for UNM football. His passion for the program was evident as he explained the difficult road ahead at UNM.

That passion was contagious. Coach Davie convinced me that UNM was the place I needed to be. While at UNM, I was a four-year starter on the offensive line, a first-team academic all-American, a UNM nominee for the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships, and a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy. I will graduate in May with my J.D. from UNM. Coach Davie was my biggest supporter in all of these endeavors, even if they interfered with time on the field.

In coach Davie’s program, academics took priority over practice time. I completed two years of law school while on the football team. This meant that I had to miss at least two days of practice a week, sometimes more. Coach Davie never thought twice about letting me miss practice for class. He fully supported me and understood that a degree was the key to my future success. It is also worth noting that I am not the only player who missed practice for class. Each year, there are a handful of players who are allowed to miss practice for academic obligations. Coach Davie understands the value of a UNM degree.

My health and future also meant more to coach Davie than winning football games. I suffered many concussions during my career at UNM. My senior year, I decided to retire after my second concussion that season. I did not want to make that decision. As a competitor and athlete, I wanted to push through this setback just like I had done every time before. Coach Davie pulled me into his office and had a long discussion with me about my future. He voiced his deep concern for my mental well-being and even told me, “If you were my son sitting there, I would tell you to hang up the cleats. You have done enough for this university. It’s time you focus on your health and future.” I cannot overstate the impact this talk had on me. In that moment, I knew that coach Davie cared for me and that his vision for my life went beyond football. His concern was my future, not his season.

Now, coach Davie is not perfect. He has a quick temper and a low tolerance when things are not done properly. I have witnessed this temper, and I am not attempting to defend these qualities or actions.

I also know that my experience is solely my own and is not representative of every player who has played for coach Davie. However, this does not change the fact that he always supported me and was there when I needed his advice.

What I have shared is just a brief excerpt from my football days at UNM. That being said, I hope this statement will shape the dialogue about coach Davie. There has been a lot of negative press published about him lately, and I felt it was time that a different viewpoint was shared.

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