UNM football fans optimistic for new beginnings

Posted at: 08/31/2012 7:29 PM
By: Shaun Griswold, KOB.com

Bob Davie has brought optimism to a football program he took over in disarray.

The University of New Mexico head football coach cannot provide any miracles, but he has left fans with the impression that the Lobos will remain competitive this year.

That positive attitude was missing during the Mike Locksley tenure, which produced two wins in three years, three wins if you count a victory under interim head coach George Barlow.

"I think (Davie) is a bit more disciplined than the previous coaches we've had," Lobo fan Karl Schmitt said. "He's come from Notre Dame so that's a good sign right there and plus he has the football knowledge from being an analyst."

Davie has been tough as nails recently when it comes to team discipline.

This week he suspended two players following their arrest, and he self reported NCAA violations for two more players that resulted in their suspension.

The sheriff is also building his program's facilities.

Davie was integral in obtaining a new synthetic turf at University Stadium, and the $1.5 million donation that helped cover the cost.

A tough boss and a new field cannot usher in a new UNM football era alone.

UNM's Athletic Department hopes the new approach will boost ticket sales.

"As we build this program back up there will be more national interest," Kurt Esser said. "We've seen it in our men's basketball program- where we're going to have 16 or 17 games on national television. It's a slow process. Coach Davie isn't promising anything and we know it's going to take a while."

So far, UNM said it has sold more than 27,000 tickets for Saturday's season opener at home against Southern.

Although fans aren't sold completely on the program there is hope, for now.

"It's something that I've really been looking forward to," fan Martin Jinzo said. "It was tough with Locksley but with Davie coming in I'm optimistic."