Is Mike Leach returning to the southwest? Sports by Brooks has the run down here:
A former executive producer of University of New Mexico Lobo TV sports programming and long-time news producer for KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reported yesterday on his Facebook page that UNM will fire football coach Mike Locksley and hire Mike Leach as Locksley’s replacement after the Lobos play in-state rival New Mexico State on Oct. 9.
According to the SBB post, the Albuquerque Journal is running with the story now too (based largely off the Facebook speculation that is getting picked up by sports talk radio stations in ABQ).
How terrible has Mike Locksley's tenure been at UNM? Well, he just got in trouble for bullying a writer from the student newspaper for writing that the program was in "shambles." Yes, a writer for the student newspaper. Recall that he's already had a sexual discrimination suit filed against him and has faced assault charges during his brief tenure at UNM. He's been nothing short of a train wreck of a hire. On the field, Locksley's Lobo's are 1-14 in his tenure (.071%). It's not out of this world impossible to think Locksley will coach his final game at UNM in the coming weeks.
If true, Leach wouldn't coach against UTEP this season so this really doesn't effect us in 2010. But, if Locksley becomes a lame duck this week that would obviously impact the mindset of UNM's players when they clash with UTEP next week.
Leach, in my mind, would be a slam dunk hire for UNM. He's a proven winner and is known for getting the most out of his recruits on the field and in the classroom. UTEP coaches won't be too excited to see UNM become relevant again on the recruiting trail. There's no denying that a hire like this would re-energize our old rivals from Albuquerque.
Obviously these are just rumors and I'm not certain Leach would consider a job outside a BCS leage and away from Florida where he's now residing. But, this is definitely a story to watch in the coming days.
[Update by Adrian Mac, 09/23/10 3:07 PM CDT ]
College Football Talk is reporting that Mike Leach's Lubbock Attorney, Ted "The Gorilla" Liggett, has denied that UNM made an offer to Leach.