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Lobos’ offensive coordinator Magee leaves for Ole Miss

Calvin Magee, New Mexico’s offensive coordinator and running backs coach, is leaving the Lobos to join the Ole Miss coaching staff, which includes offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez, UNM coach Bob Davie said Thursday.

Magee was with the Lobos for one year.

“I hate to lose Calvin,” Davie said. “But this is a great opportunity for him and his family. I appreciate what he has done for us during the transition. But I understand that it is a good opportunity.”

Magee’s wife, Rosie, was born in Mississippi, Davie said.

Davie said he had just found out that Magee would be leaving for Ole Miss. He said some of the assistants currently on the UNM staff will be evaluated and given the opportunity for the offensive coordinator position, and that it would also be open outside of UNM.

Davie is entering his eighth season with the Lobos. For the first six seasons, UNM used the triple-option offense. Last year, he brought on Magee and the Lobos switched to the spread, which Magee had used when he was on staff with Rodriguez at Arizona, Michigan and West Virginia.

“The direction of the offense schematically will continue in that same direction,” Davie said of the Lobos keeping the scheme that Magee used.

At Ole Miss, the tight ends coach is the only football assistant position open, Ole Miss spokesperson Brad Sheffield said Thursday. He said there is nothing to report and that nothing is official. Magee, 59, played five years for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a tight end.

Rodriguez was recently hired as the offensive coordinator at Ole Miss. Rodriguez told Davie that Magee had been his best assistant at Arizona, Michigan and West Virginia.

The Lobos’ 2018 offense showed glimpses of explosiveness with big plays, but struggled with the transition to the new offense in part because of injuries at the quarterback position.

Tevaka Tuioti, who won the starting quarterback job in the summer, was lost for the year after suffering a shoulder injury in a loss to Liberty on Sept. 29. Coltin Gerhart, who was Tuioti’s backup, missed much of the sesaon with a foot injury.

UNM quarterbacks threw 21 touchdown passes, which ranks fifth most for a single season in program history.

The Lobos, who were 3-9, 1-7 in the Mountain West Conference, finished 11th out of 12 teams in the MWC in total offense, averaging 330.4 yards per game.

As co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Arizona in 2017, Magee helped the Wildcats rank 12th in the nation in total offense. With 309.3 rushing yards per game, the Wildcats finished No. 3 nationally in that category.

Magee could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

He spoke highly of Rodriguez during an interview with the Journal in August, saying that the two formed a strong connection after Magee left South Florida to join Rodriguez’s staff at West Virginia.

Rodriguez was not coaching college football in 2018. He was fired at Arizona shortly after an investigation of sexual harassment allegations. Arizona did not find evidence to substantiate the claims but was concerned with the direction of the football program and let Rodriguez go.

Magee, who wanted to remain in coaching, turned down two other offers, including one from a Pac-12 program, to coach at UNM last year.

In addition to Magee leaving UNM, Mitchell Kleinschrodt, the Lobos’ director of recruiting, has been hired to be the head coach at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa. Kleinschrodt began at UNM in 2015 as a graduate assistant. Last year, the Ellsworth Panthers went 1-10.

“Good for him,” Davie said of Kleinschrodt. “I’m so excited for him to be a head coach. We’re all excited for him.”