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Lobo football staff’s status also is up in the air

UNM assistants Jordan Peterson and Perry Eliano,, high five players during practice earlier this season. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

University of New Mexico athletic director Eddie Nuñez said he is aware of what the department is going to have in regard to salary and compensation for the Lobos’ next football coach and his staff.

Meanwhile, he must also deal with paying Bob Davie’s buyout in addition to the that of remaining staff, an amount that could be at least $591,895, per a Journal review of the staffers’ contracts, depending on who might stay or go.

Davie coached his final game on Saturday, ending an eight-year run with a 38-25 loss to Utah State. He was 35-64 at UNM, including 8-28 his final three seasons.

Davie’s buyout is likely to be at around $845,000 — the specific amount will be learned at a Board of Regents meeting on Dec. 10, Nuñez said. Davie had two years remaining on his contract and will be paid around $35,0000 monthly, according to his contract.

Nuñez met with the Lobo football coaching staff on Monday telling them about the coaching change process going forward, he said during a press conference on Tuesday.

The reality is many of those assistant coaches will soon no longer be employed at UNM because the Lobos’ next coach will want his own staff. Yet, at least one could remain on staff, as has been typical in many coaching changes, for continuity’s sake. And the new coach may be encouraged to retain one or more assistant for financial reasons.

Nuñez gave the impression during a Tuesday press conference that he wants to hire the Lobos’ next head coach by Jan. 1.

Joe Dailey (offensive coordinator/$225,000), Jordan Peterson (defensive coordinator/$170,000), Saga Tuitele (offensive line/$170,000), Scott Baumgartner (wide receivers/$148,125), Dan Carrel (linebackers/$140,000), Dillon Sanders (linebackers/$100,000), and Scott Holsopple (strength/$120,000) are signed through Dec, 31, 2020. Each will be paid half of his 2020 salary as severance if let go “within the first contract year” or “within contract year” ending Dec. 31.

For any of these who remain on staff as of Jan. 1, 2010, UNM must pay their base salaries through the contract term. Anyone let go must make efforts to find a job that is at least equal in salary to what they had, according to their contract. If they do find employment and it is a lesser salary, UNM must pay the difference, according to the contract.

Five assistants have contracts that expire at the end of this month, including Perry Eliano, whom Nuñez appointed as acting head coach during the coaching search.

The Journal requested an interview with Eliano, the special teams and cornerbacks coach who makes $140,000 per year, but he was not available on Wednesday, said Frank Mercogliano, UNM assistant athletic director of communications.

The UNM assistant coaches are continuing to recruit players to the program and none have left the program — not even Clay Davie, the former head coach’s son, Mercogliano said.

Clay Davie signed a seven-month contract in June to be paid $8,333.34 a month through December.

Brian DeSpain, Bob Davie’s son-in-law, who had been the director of operations, left the Lobos in August to work in the same role at Arizona. Dusty Bennett was hired to be Lobos’ director of operations in August, a one-year contract for $83,000. He will be paid $6,916.67 each month through August of 2020 if he is let go at any point, and UNM will need to offset payment according to his next job if it is less than what he makes at UNM.

UNM assistants Apollo Wright (running backs), Stan Eggen (defensive line) and Greg Svarczkopf (recruiting coordinator) are signed through the end of the month.

“Right now the No. 1 focus for (the assistants) is our student-athletes,” Nuñez said. “We are getting close to finals. Our focus right now is making sure we do everything academically that we have to do. There are opportunities for (the players) to work out (at the training facility). On the recruiting side, (the assistants) are following up with those who have expressed interest to commit, letting them know what the process is, where we will be going, letting them know this is what is transpiring. We want to make sure we are there for them. I appreciate (the assistants’) willingness to do everything we need to do.”


UNM Assistants

Signed through 2020

Name-Salary-Signed through-Buyout*

Joe Dailey $225K 2020 $112,500

Jordan Peterson $170K 2020 $85,000

Saga Tuitele $170K 2020 $85,000

Scott Baumgartner $148,125 2020 $74,062

Dan Carrel $140K 2020 $70,000

Scott Holsopple $120K 2020 $60,000

Dillon Sanders $100K 2020 $50,000

Dusty Bennett $83K 2020 $55,333**

* Paid if terminated by Dec. 31, 2019, according to a review of each contract.

** Would be owed monthly salary through Aug. 31, 2020. This figure is eight months.

Signed through Dec. 31

Apollo Wright (running backs) $165K

Stan Eggen (defensive line) $150K

Petty Eliano (special teams, cornerbacks) $140K

Clay Davie (tight ends) $100K

Greg Svarczkopf (recruiting coordinator) $56K

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