(Albuquerque, NM)—University of New Mexico head football coach Mike Locksley has his work cut out for him. Coach Locksley’s looking at a tough schedule in the Mountain West, plus stiff competition with non-conference games against Texas Tech, Texas A & M, Tulsa, and New Mexico State.
Locksley takes over the job from former-head coach Rocky Long, who‘s program was stuck in a mud bog.
Locksley will have eleven returning starters to work with. Senior Donovan Porterie and Sophomore Brad Gruner will be leading the pack at quarterback. Gruner threw for 1,007 yards last season in only eight starts, while Porterie missed the 2008 season with an ACL injury, but threw for 3,006 yards during the 2007 season.
It will be interesting to learn how the Lobos can incorporate Locksley’s no-huddle, spread-option system. At this point, Donovan Porterie looks like the odds-on favorite to get the starting job.
Probably the most difficult challenge facing Coach Locksley is the defense. This year only three starters will be returning from a defense that allowed 22.8 ppg and 335.8 yards per game. This may lead them to rethink the Lobo signature 3-3-5 defense to a more useful 4- 3 defensive scheme.
Senior Clint McPeek will again be at linebacker, and safeties Ian Clark and Frankie Soloman retain their positions.
This will be a rebuilding season, playing for a new coaching staff, and new system. Locksley has a lot of work ahead of him, with his offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey and defensive coordinator Dough Mallory both in their first year.
He’s starting with a new slate. Nobody will be able to predict what’s going to happen.
Moving into the announcers booth, former UNM quarterback Kole McKamey is given the opportunity to step up to the microphone.
"There has been such a defensive mindset around here toward Lobo football, and now we have an exciting, quick-scoring, finesse offense, and I get to be one of the first to help explain to Lobo fans how it works," said McKamey, who was a Lobo from 2002-2006.
McKamey ran three different offensive schemes in his final three seasons at UNM as a player.
McKamey will serve as the color commentator, joining Scott Galetti who is in his second season.
"The timing of putting a former Lobo quarterback in the radio booth might be coincidental, but it's also perfect," said coach Locksley. “We are putting in a new offense which likely will be highly discussed by Lobo fans and the media. We have a Lobo in the booth who has been through the wars on the field.”