All-Time All-Mountain West New Mexico Team
Who were the best two-deep in 20 years of Mountain West players for the Lob?
The best Lobos players ever, in the Mountain West.
The Mountain West is 20 years in and with that being a milestone year we decided to look back at the league and do a lot of cool stuff including creating the ultimate two-deep.
Up next is the New Mexico Lobos who have been in the Mountain West since its inception from 1999.
We are going alphabetically with current teams and then do **gasp** BYU, TCU, and Utah at the end. Going through and creating the list our writers could use any criteria they liked.
So, it could be All-American awards, all-conference, career stats or season-long stats especially for teams that had players who played in the WAC and then came into the Mountain West.
We also include coaches and most outstanding offensive, defensive and special teams players.
Rocky Long – He was the starting QB for the Lobos in 1969-1971. Long left UCLA as Defensive Coordinator for his first head coaching job at UNM in 1997. He was a perfect fit for the Lobos after the departure of Dennis Franchione to TCU.
He would go on to win 65 games over 11 seasons, the most wins of any Lobo football coach in UNM history. He led the Lobos to three straight bowl games a first in program history. The Lobos were bowl eligible for seven straight seasons (2001-2007) another record for UNM.
In 2007, the Lobos under Long would win its first bowl game in 46 years defeating the Nevada Wolf pack in the New Mexico Bowl. His teams personified Coach Long’s personality as being both mentally & physically strong on the gridiron. It proved to be a recipe for success.
Top Assistants with the biggest impact on Lobo football programs
Bronco Mendenhall (1998-2002) He was the defensive coordinator for the University of New Mexico, where he and head coach Rocky Long developed a blitz-happy 3-3-5 defensive scheme that produced NFL first-round draft pick Brian Urlacher, who played in New Mexico’s “Loboback” position, a cross between a linebacker and safety.
Bob Debesse (2012–2017) He was an offensive coordinator the Lobos. The Lobos rushing offense finished fifth nationally in 2012, fourth in 2013, fifth in 2014, ninth in 2015 and first in 2016. The 2016 Lobos set a school record for points (477) and scoring average, averaging 36.7 points per game, and also featured two 1,000 yard rushers for the first time in school history. In 2017, the Lobos’ again finished in the top 20 nationally in rushing offense, averaging over 230 yards per game on the ground.
Most Outstanding Offensive player
RB Dontrell Moore – played for the Lobos from 2002-2005 He was one of 57 athletes from 33 states selected to Parade Magazine’s 2000 All-America’s team as a Roswell Coyote in High School with over 6000 yards rushing. He finished as UNM’s all-time leading rusher with over 4,956 yards (13th in NCAA History) averaging 4.9 yards per carry and 51 touchdowns.
He was 2002 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year and he was 2005 MWC Offensive Player of the year, earning first team MWC four times. Moore was just the sixth player in NCAA history to rush 1,000 yards four times. He was named to Sports Illustrated “All-American team in 2005.
Most outstanding Defensive player
Brian Urlacher – He played for the Lobos from 1997-1999. Urlacher played for Rocky Long for Long’s first two years as head coach at New Mexico. Long would bring his attacking 3-3-5 defense with Urlacher playing the Lobo-Back, a cross between the linebacker and free safety. He would flourish at this position become a 1999 Consensus All-American.
Urlacher led the nation with 178 tackles during his junior year, and also set a school record for most tackles in a single season. He finished his career with 442 tackles, three interceptions, 11 sacks, and 11 forced fumbles Before he was drafted by the Chicago Bears, he showed up at the 2000 NFL Combine in Indianapolis at a very chiseled 6’3 ¾, 258 nearly 20 pounds more than he weighed in his last college game.
He ran a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash and the scouts jaws dropped. He would end up being drafted 1st round, 9th overall of the 2000 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears. 13 years later, 8 pro bowls and being inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Not bad for a kid from a 3A small school in Lovington, New Mexico, with just a single scholarship offer.