ALBUQUERQUE — University of New Mexico athletic director Eddie Nuñez said Sunday that the search for a new football coach is well underway and he is prepared to discuss updates at a press conference tentatively scheduled for Tuesday.
UNM had a mutual parting of the ways with longtime coach Bob Davie last week. Davie coached the final game of his eight-year run with New Mexico on Saturday, a 38-25 loss at home to Utah State.
The game drew the smallest crowd in at least 30 years, with the official paid attendance announced at 11,611. In reality there were no more than 2,000 people in the stadium at kickoff and only a few hundred by time the game ended.
Nuñez said he attended the game and offered a brief update on the search after Sunday’s men’s basketball game in The Pit. He said two things are certain: Despite a recent media report suggesting a local high school coach is a possible candidate, the school is not interested in hiring a high school coach. That, and the amount of interest Nuñez has received about the post has been extensive.
“I can definitely say there’s a lot of interest out there,” Nuñez said. “A lot of contact with people from all over.”
Nuñez dismissed the idea of naming a coach at Tuesday’s press conference. Instead he’ll likely discuss the terms of Davie’s contract buyout and offer a road map for how the school intends to find its next man.
Davie was under contract through the 2021 season with an annual salary of approximately $850,000. His base pay was roughly half that, at $422,690. Early termination of the contract calls for a buyout, but the exact terms of that exchange will not be finalized until the Dec. 10 UNM Board of Regents meeting.
The Miami Dolphins’ trick play in their win over Philadelphia on Sunday became all the rage on social media, but the play had a uniquely UNM flavor to it.
Facing fourth-and-goal from the Eagles’ 1 late in the first half, the Fins lined up in a crazy formation that had a center snapping to punter Matt Haack out of a shotgun formation with four receivers stacked to each side beyond the hash marks. Standing alone on the line of scrimmage was kicker Jason Sanders, near the group lined up to the left.
UNM’s kicker from 2014-17, Sanders is the school’s all-time leader in extra points (111) and is tied for the second-longest field goal (53 yards) in Lobo history.
Checked by an Eagles lineman off the snap, Sanders snuck alone into the end zone as Haack ran to his left. At the last moment he flipped a no-look shovel pass to Sanders, who caught it as he rolled onto his back.
In so doing he became the first former Lobo to catch a touchdown pass in an NFL game since Hank Baskett in 2008 with the Eagles.