Coach turns New Mexico State playbook inside out


POSTED: Monday, August 31, 2009


In his effort to change the culture of New Mexico State football, one of DeWayne Walker's first steps was to alter the Aggies' look.

Gone is the white helmet the players sported since 2005, replaced by a return to the maroon headgear of years past.

“;At some point you have to stop and say, 'This is our brand no matter who the coach is,' “; said Walker, the Aggies' first-year head coach. “;But they left the window open for me, so I took it. We want to establish a brand and establish an identity.”;

In four years under Hal Mumme, the Aggies' identity was based primarily on his Air Raid offense and the passing numbers it produced. But those stats were largely muted by a porous defense and New Mexico State went 11-38 under Mumme, going 4-28 and finishing no higher than seventh in the Western Athletic Conference.







FridayCentral Arkansas
Sept. 12at Washington State
Sept. 19at UNLV
Sept. 30at Louisiana Tech
Oct. 10Fresno State
Oct. 17at Idaho
Oct. 24Boise State
Oct. 31at Nevada
Nov. 7Utah State
Nov. 14New Mexico State
Nov. 21at San Jose State
Nov. 28Navy
Dec. 5Wisconsin





Mumme was fired after a 3-9 season in 2008, replaced by Walker, who brings a background diametrically opposed to Mumme's to Las Cruces.

Where Mumme spent much of his career devising passing attacks, Walker played cornerback in the CFL and USFL and coached defensive backs for three teams in the NFL and two Pac-10 schools.

He served as defensive coordinator at UCLA for the past three seasons before accepting his first head coaching position.

“;When we found out he was the coach all the players were real excited because we know he has great credentials, he's coached at great places, he's coached great players and we know he's going to turn this thing around,”; said linebacker Ross Conner.

“;They had a spectacular offense with Coach Mumme. We put up the numbers, all that stuff, but our defense lacked, and because of that we didn't win games. With Coach Walker, even if we only score 10 points, if we hold the other team to nine points, we win.”;

Walker is implementing a 4-3 defense to replace the 3-3-5 alignment run by the previous staff in hopes of holding up more effectively against the run. New Mexico State was last in the WAC in rushing defense last season, giving up 220.2 yards per game.

He is also looking for offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach to provide a more balanced approach after the Aggies threw the ball on 61 percent of its snaps last season.

Running backs Marquell Colston and Tonny Glynn figure to play a more prominent role in the offense while sophomore Jeff Fleming steps in at quarterback, a spot held by Chase Holbrook the last three years. The junior college transfer edged freshman Trevor Walls for the job.

“;I think were going to have to be pretty balanced on offense,”; Walker said. “;We don't want to put pressure on our quarterback. That's why the run game is going to critical.”;

Marcus Anderson is the Aggies top returning receiver. The 5-foot-8 senior caught 50 passes for 617 yards and nine touchdowns last season.