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New Mexico Hires Illinois Offensive Coordinator As Head Coach

Courtesy University of New Mexico
12/09/08

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs has confirmed that Mike Locksley will be introduced as the Lobos' 29th head football coach on Tuesday afternoon. A news conference will be held at 3 p.m.

Locksley, who will turn 39 on Christmas Day, just completed his fourth year as the offensive coordinator and third season as quarterbacks coach at the University of Illinois. It was his 17th year of collegiate coaching overall, which includes two seasons (2003-04) at the University of Florida as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator under current Illinois head coach Ron Zook, and six seasons (1997-2002) in the same role at the University of Maryland.

Locksley replaces Rocky Long, who resigned on Nov. 17 after 11 seasons as head coach at his alma mater.

During his time at Champaign, Locksley turned the Illini into one of the nation's top offenses. Illinois led the Big Ten in rushing in 2006 and 2007, and passing in 2008. The team ranked second in the Big Ten and 19th nationally in total offense in 2008, averaging 439.4 yards per game. The Illini topped 5,000 yards of total offense for the second straight season in 2008 - a feat that hasn't been achieved at New Mexico since 2003 and just twice since 1986.

Throughout his career, Locksley has been praised as one of the top recruiters in the country. He was listed among the top-20 recruiters in the nation by Sports Illustrated and was named a top-25 recruiter by Rivals.com while at Illinois. In 2003, he helped Florida assemble the seventh-best recruiting class in the country according to Rivals.com.

"We're thrilled to be introducing Mike Locksley (today) as the new head football coach at the University of New Mexico," said Krebs.