This time it’s official.
Reports surfaced late Tuesday night that New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker was leaving to become the Jacksonville Jaguars as secondary coach.
On Wednesday, nothing was officially announced and Walker flew from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. to Las Cruces to meet with school officials. Some took that as Walker having second thoughts, but sources close to the situation indicate that Walker just wanted to tell them his intentions in person.
“I really appreciate the opportunity that Dr. Boston and New Mexico State gave me to be a division I head football coach,” Walker said in a statement released through the school. “Unfortunately, I did not get the program as far as I would have liked from a wins and losses standpoint. But, we do have a better locker room, better kids and a better foundation for the program moving forward.
“There are a lot of people that I want to thank for their support and will be reaching out to those individuals in the coming days. They have helped me in moving the program forward. I am excited about starting a new chapter in my coaching career, as is my family. I wish New Mexico State great success in the future and wish everyone the best. Go Aggies!”
Walker, who compiled a 10-40 record in four seasons at New Mexico State including a 1-11 mark in 2012, had expressed concern over a lack of resources dedicated to the program.
Walker joins the staff of Gus Bradley, the former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator who took over the Jags last week. Walker and Bradley have a connection through Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
Bradley was Carroll’s defensive coordinator the last two seasons in Seattle before getting hired by the Jaguars. Walker was Carroll’s first hire once he became head coach at USC Trojans in 2001, and spent the three seasons before that under Carroll in a similar role with the New England Patriots.
NMSU has named offensive coordinator Doug Martin as interim head coach. Martin coached the Aggie offense during the 2011 season before accepting a similar position at Boston College last year. He returned to NMSU last week on a two-year contract after being let go at BC.
Martin was head coach of the Kent State Golden Flashes from 2004-2010, where he compiled a record of 29-53.
According to Don Kloppenburg, a longtime college football coach who lives in Las Cruces, Martin came back to the school with the understanding that Walker’s departure could be in the works.
“He definitely anticipated it,” Kloppenburg said,