If you can’t beat him, hire him. That’s what New Mexico has done with regard to its hiring of Joe Dailey, the Lobos’ new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach who worked in the same role at Liberty.
UNM confirmed Dailey’s hiring on Saturday.
The Flames earned their first road win as a Football Bowl Subdivision program with a 52-43 victory at UNM on Sept. 29. Liberty scored 42 points in the first half.
Dailey, who played quarterback at Nebraska and North Carolina, joined Liberty’s coaching staff as quarterbacks coach in 2012. Two years later, he was promoted to passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Then, again he was promoted before the 2016 season to become the Flames’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Last year, during the Flames’ inaugural FBS season, Liberty ranked 48th in total offense and 35th in scoring offense.
“I reached out to Joe Dailey because of the impression that Liberty’s offense and quarterback made on me,” UNM coach Bob Davie said in a statement. “That was the starting point. Joe has an unbelievable background having played the position, and he has coached under some great coaches.”
Since Dailey will also be the Lobos’ quarterbacks coach some shuffling is expected to take place for the UNM assistants’ roles, that will be announced soon. Apollo Wright was the Lobos’ quarterback coach last year.
Dailey takes over for Calvin Magee, who left the Lobos after one season as offensive coordinator and running backs coach to become the tight ends coach at Ole Miss. Magee reunited with Rebels offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez. Magee had worked with Rodriguez when Rodriguez was the head coach at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona.
Magee installed the spread offense at UNM after the Lobos had used the triple option for six straight seasons. Davie said he wanted to continue in that direction of an offense based on run-pass-option schemes.
Liberty utilized some run-pass-option schemes against the Lobos, as well as effective deep back-shoulder fade passes from quarterback Stephen Calvert, who threw for 417 yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-41 passing.
Dailey had signaled he was leaving Liberty last month when he posted a message on Twitter thanking Flames fans, the News and Advance in Lynchburg, Va. reported.
Dailey was basically reacting to Liberty coach Hugh Freeze, who was hired early December and said he was not going to change his offensive philosophy.
Dailey, who is from Freehold, N.J., was not on the recruiting trail with Liberty because his wife, Carrie, gave birth to the couple’s fourth child last month, according to the News and Advance.
UNM plays at Liberty on Sept. 28.
“He will be able to mesh our offensive concepts because of his unique background as a player and a coach,” Davie said. “I think he will be a great addition to our staff.”