Bob Davie’s Era At New Mexico Comes To An End
The Lobos will be heading in a new direction.
A look back at Davie’s time in the ABQ
The final game of the Bob Davie Era as New Mexico’s head coach for the Lobos took place Saturday at DreamStyle Stadium against Utah State. New Mexico fell 38-25 to visiting Utah State Saturday to end the 2019 football season and the tenure of coach Bob Davie.
UNM lost its ninth straight game to finish the season 2-10 and 0-8 in the Mountain West. It was the Lobos’ first winless conference season since 1989.
This would be the last game that Davie would be on the sidelines as the Lobos head coach. For all the success Davie had in the 2015-2016 years, the last three seasons have been the most difficult for the Lobo football program.
This year would be the year that Davie coined the phrase at his pressers “Did that Really Just Happen”
It started with Davie’s medical incident after the first victory in the locker room after the Lobos victory over Sam Houston State.
Davie has never said what specifically what it was but don’t think it takes to much creativity to figure out what it was.
He owes his life to the medical staff on-site, specifically head UNM athletics trainer Bob Waller and his staff, David later confirmed this in his presser.
What a way to start the season right in front of the entire team, that had to be emotionally traumatizing.
Quarterback Brandt Hughes the projected starter suffering a right shoulder (throwing arm) in the season opener.
Senior quarterback Sherion Jones being suspended for an indecent exposure accusation, then later in the season, Tavaka Tuitoti tearing his hamstring.
The passing of Lobo defensive lineman Nahje Flowers was a huge emotional blow to this team and rocked Lobo nation.
The Lobos would finish the season with their number four quarterback Trae Hall.
So, you can why Davie said the phras, “Did that really happen?”
It’s amazing that this group of student athletes were able to even compete on the gridiron after seeing all these things happen over the course of the season as the prepared for games.
The 2015-2016 years would be the best years for Coach Davie as he would have 16 wins trying a program record for most wins in back to back seasons.
The 11 conference wins would set a record for the Lobo program, and the 2016 team set records for rushing yards and scoring offense that lead the nations in yards per game.
Although the Lobo football team would have very little success on the gridiron, the team set records for highest GPA’s in the classroom.
“In stepping aside, I’m proud of what we accomplished at UNM, but we are all disappointed that we have not been able to sustain the success that we achieved and all desire,” said Davie. “My family and I will be forever grateful to UNM for giving me the opportunity to coach again after being at ESPN for ten years.”
Davie, former Notre Dame head coach, took over the Lobo program after Mike Locksley’s departure in 2011.
Davie was a broadcaster at ESPN for a decade before being hired for the job at New Mexico in late November of 2011. He took over a football program that went 3-37 in the previous 40 games as well as the lowest scholarship total in the FBS.
Davie inherited a program that was a mess after Mike Locksley’s 2-26 tenure on the field and off the field as well. His first season went 4-9 outperforming the win total of the three previous seasons combined.
In 2015, the Lobos turned in a historic performance at Boise State, winning 31-24 and gaining bowl eligibility. The Lobos would go on to play in the Gildan New Mexico bowl losing Arizona 45-37.
The Boise State game of 2015 would be one of Davie’s most significant victories as the head coach, especially considering the Lobos were on the road in Boise and 31-point underdogs.
The next season the Lobos would go on to win five games in a row and finish with a 9-4 record, capped off by a 23-20 victory over UTSA in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
This would be just the fourth bowl win in Lobo history and second in 55 seasons.
Frank Mercogliano UNM SID when asked about Coach Davie:
“We were the laughing stock of football in 2011 when Coach Dave was hired, and to get some of the big wins we had, and to constantly be on ESPN speaks to how we came in those five seasons.”
There is no denying that Coach Bob Davie being larger than life figure in the FBS college world benefited the Lobos as far as getting more national attention and EPSN coverage.
The Lobos reached consecutive bowl games under Davie, including a 9-4 record in 2016, but that was followed by consecutive 3-9 seasons and a 2-10 record this year.
Davie has a 35-63 record at UNM over his eight seasons, and his tenure is tied for the second-longest at UNM finish tied for second-longest at UNM. Those 35 wins at UNM will place him third-most in UNM Lobo football history.
His last game against Utah State would be his 99th game coached at UNM will also be the second-most, both totals behind Rocky Long.
Rocky Long coached the New Mexico Lobos 134 games over 11 seasons with a record of 65-69, and His 65 wins are the most of any head coach in program history.
Davie at his last presser said | “I would let others judge my success or failure as I look through a different lens, but I walk out of New Mexico with his head held high, and I gave it my all.”
He mentioned that he felt for his assistant coaches who gave their all through this tough & challenging season.
When a head coach loses his job the head coach goes away with a chunk of taxpayer money (buyouts) depending on their contract, and the assistant coaches are looking for work.
This is the reality of a head coach losing his job and how it affects all his assistant coaches and their families involved.
Of course, David has his share of critics as any college football coach, his lack of being connected to the local community and the Lobo Alumni would be a big one.
There is no denying his work ethic and desire to better the Lobo football program.
His motto phrase, “Outwork, Out hustle, and Out discipline was apparent looking at his teams.
The Lobo job is a job where being connected to the community of emotionally connected is critical for success. This program is night and day different than his former team, Notre Dame in so many facets.
The next coach will have to connect to the community and deal with a host of challenges but when you’re making 750K a year it makes it a little bit easier.
You do have to give him credit for having the courage to take on one of the most challenging FBS college football programs, the University of New Mexico football programs.
In the sports world of college football, a coach is judged by not only the wins and losses but years after he leaves program what kind of legacy he leaves. The influence he leaves on the hundreds of young men he coached on the football field but more importantly also in the game of life.