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There’s still no puff of white smoke at UNM

A week has passed since University of New Mexico athletic director Eddie Nuñez has said he felt very close to hiring the Lobos’ next football coach.

Yet, all’s quiet in Loboland when it comes to who will be the new leader of the football program.

Nuñez was unable to be reached on Monday, a day after the Journal reported UNM was down to two candidates, including Arizona State defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales, a former UNM assistant and player.

The Journal has been unable to identify the other finalist.

Gonzales was back at practice with the Sun Devils (7-5) on Monday as they prepare to play against Florida State in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl in El Paso on Dec. 31.

ASU head coach Herm Edwards responded to a question about Gonzales’ “situation” to wrap up a press conference on Monday.

“I’m pulling for him,” Edwards said. “If that happens for him, good for him. It would be great. That’s all I can say on it. It’s out there. We’ve talked about it. I hope it works out for him if that’s what he wants to do and they offer him the job. I’m going to be happy for him.”

Gonzales, 43, a Valley High alumnus, is in his second year as defensive coordinator at ASU, where he was promoted to assistant head coach before this season began.

Nuñez said on Nov. 25 that Bob Davie and UNM had agreed to mutually part ways. Back then, Gonzales had expressed to his friends interest in the job, the Journal reported.

While Nuñez said he felt very close to making the hire last week, he initially expressed that he wanted to take his time with the decision. This is viewed as the most important hire in his two years at UNM.

“I don’t want to be here mid-January (without a coach) because I think we would have some major issues,” he said at a press conference two weeks ago. “At this point, I kind of don’t want to set a timetable for the next week or two or three. We’re going to be aggressive, but I’m going to be thorough and I’m not going to make a decision just to make a decision so that I can beat a deadline. I want to make sure that we do it and do it right.”

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