Arkansas Hires John L. Smith
|How New Coaches Fared|
|TEAM||2011 COACH||W-L||2012 COACH||W-L|
|Akron||Rob Ianello||1-11||Terry Bowden||1-11|
(i) Tim Kish
|Arizona State||Dennis Erickson||6-7||Todd Graham||8-5|
|Arkansas||Bobby Petrino||11-2||John L. Smith||4-8|
|Arkansas State||Hugh Freeze
(i) David Gunn
(i) John Thompson
|Colorado State||Steve Fairchild||3-9||Jim McElwain||4-8|
|FAU||Howard Schnellenberger||1-11||Carl Pellini||3-9|
|Fresno State||Pat Hill||4-9||Tim DeRuyter||9-4|
|Hawaii||Greg McMackin||5-8||Norm Chow||3-9|
(i) Vic Koenning
|Kansas||Turner Gill||2-10||Charlie Weis||1-11|
|Massachusetts||Kevin Morris (FCS)||5-6||Charley Molnar (FBS)||1-11|
|Memphis||Larry Porter||2-10||Justin Fuente||4-8|
|Mississippi||Houston Nutt||2-10||Hugh Feeze||7-6|
|New Mexico||Mike Locksley
(i) George Barlow
|North Carolina||Butch Davis
(i) Everitt Withers
|Ohio State||(i) Luke Fickell||6-7||Urban Meyer||12-0|
|Penn State||Joe Paterno
(i) Tom Bradley
(i) Keith Patterson
|Rutgers||Greg Schiano||9-4||Kyle Flood||9-4|
|Southern Miss||Larry Fedora||12-2||Ellis Johnson||0-12|
|Texas A&M||Mike Sherman
|Toledo||Tim Beckman||9-4||Matt Campbell||9-4|
(i) Mark Huston
|UAB||Neil Callaway||3-9||Garrick McGee||3-9|
(i) Mike Johnson
|Washington State||Paul Wulff||4-8||Mike Leach||3-9|
i-Interim head coach.
UMass entered the MAC this year from the FCS.
North Carolina played the entire 2011 season under (i) Everett Withers when Butch Davis was fired before the season began.
Arizona State - Dennis Erickson
Arkansas State - (i) David Gunn, offensive coordinator
Houston - Tony Levine. Interim coach was newly-appointed head coach
Illinois - (i) Vic Koenning, defensive coordinator
North Carolina - (i) Everett Withers, interim head coach for the entire season
Ohio State - (i) Luke Fickell, interim head coach for the entire season
Penn State - (i) Tom Bradley, interim head coach since November 9
Pittsburgh - (i) Keith Patterson, defensive coordinator
Southern Miss - Larry Fedora
Texas A&M - (i) Tim DeRuyter, defensive coordinator
Toledo - Matt Campbell, interim coach was newly-appointed head coach
UCLA - (i) Mike Johnson, offensive coordinator
Petrino reported to the school that he was alone when the accident occurred. It later came to light that 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell, a former Arkansas volleyball player whom Petrino hired to work in the football office, was a passenger on the motorcycle. It was learned that Petrino had an "inappropriate relationship" with the woman for a "significant period of time". He was placed on administrative leave on April 5, pending the results of an internal investigation, and linebackers and assistant head coach Taver Johnson was named interim coach at that time.
Petrino, who is married and has four children, released a statement that read, "I’m sorry. These two words seem very inadequate. But that is my heart. All I have been able to think about is the number of people I’ve let down by making selfish decisions. I’ve taken a lot of criticism in the past. Some deserved, some not deserved. This time, I have no one to blame but myself."
Prior to the start of the 2006 season, Petrino signed a 10-year pact with Louisville worth $25 million. He then led the Cardinals to a 12-1 campaign that included a Big East title and their first BCS bowl berth, a 24-13 win over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. But he promptly left after that season to take the job with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons where success seemed imminent. That decision backfired when Michael Vick was indicted on federal dog fighting charges and was sentenced on December 10, 2007 to 23 months in prison. The Falcons were 3-10 at the time and Petrino resigned the next day and began recruiting for the Razorbacks where he replaced Houston Nutt.
Arkansas was 34-17 in four seasons under Petrino and 17-15 in the SEC. However, the Razorbacks were 21-5 over the last two seasons and 12-4 in conference games. The Hogs were 11-2 in 2011 with both losses coming on the road to LSU and Alabama, the two BCS title game combatants.
John L. Smith has previous head coaching experience with Michigan State (2003-2006), Louisville (1998-2002), Utah State (1995-1997) and Idaho (1989-1994), compiling career records of 132-86 overall and 1-6 in bowl games. Smith had just left Arkansas to take the head coaching job at his alma mater Weber State, an FCS program in Ogden, Utah, following the 2011 season. He led Louisville to five straight winning seasons before resigning to move to Michigan State, but the Spartans had three consecutive losing campaigns after his inaugural squad in East Lansing went 8-5.
Arkansas becomes the 28th school to make a change at the top for the 2012 season. Twenty-four teams opened the 2011 season under the guidance of a new permanent head coach or an interim head coach.
Rutgers announced on January 26 that Greg Schiano resigned to become the new head coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Schiano’s 11-year tenure featured six bowl appearances in the last seven years, including the nation’s longest active bowl winning streak of five games (tied with Auburn and Mississippi State). Rutgers was 9-4 in 2011, including a 27-13 victory over Iowa State in the Pinstripe Bowl. His overall record at Rutgers was 68-67, but just 28-48 in Big East games with no conference titles and a best finish of 2nd in 2006 and 2008. Offensive line coach Kyle Flood was named interim head coach and, five days later, was given the official head coach title.
Penn State on January 7 introduced Bill O'Brien, New England Patriots offensive coordinator, as the 15th head football coach in the school's 125-year football history.
Joe Paterno was fired from Penn State on November 9, a shocking development that came 11 days after he won an FBS record 409th division 1 football game. He passed Eddie Robinson as the all-time wins leader with his teams' victory over Illinois on October 29. The move came in the wake of a hailstorm of revelations regarding former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky's alleged sexual abuse of minors on the Penn State campus. Paterno was targeted for admittedly not notifying police in 2002 when he was informed by then-graduate assistant coach Mike McQueary that he had witnessed an incident involving Sandusky and a minor. Paterno instead referred the matter to PSU administrators. Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley was named interim head coach and finished the season 1-3, including a 30-14 loss to Houston (13-1) in the TicketCity Bowl.
O'Brien served 14 years in the college ranks with Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke. He had been with the Patriots since 2008.
A trial for Sandusky ended June 22, 2012 with 45 findings of guilt on 48 charged counts of child sex abuse.
Pitt has its sixth head coach in just a little over a year. Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst was announced on December 22 as the new head man for the Panthers. Chryst has been an FBS level OC since 1997 with Oregon State (1997-1998, 2003-2004) and the Badgers (2002, 2005-2011). He was a tight ends coach for the NFL's San Diego Chargers from 1999-2001. Chryst stayed with Wisconsin through its Rose Bowl loss to Oregon on January 2.
Pitt had a rocky past year that began with Dave Wannstedt's forced resignation following the 2010 regular season. His assistant and former SMU head coach Phil Bennett was acting head coach in Pitt's 27-10 win over Kentucky in the 2010 BBVA Compass Bowl. Michael Haywood was then hired December 16, 2010 but was fired 16 days later after he was arrested and jailed on New Year's Eve on a domestic violence charge. Todd Graham was hired on January 14, 2011 but left after his initial regular season to become head coach at Arizona State. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson was named interim head coach on December 14 for Pitt's repeat appearance in the BBVA Compass Bowl game against SMU that produced a 28-6 loss.
Graham was named the new head coach of the Sun Devils on December 14, 2011 despite being just 6-6 in his very first season with Pittsburgh. It is the second time he has left a program after just one campaign, burning Rice in the same manner after the 2006 season to move to Tulsa. Graham was 7-6 in his lone season with Rice, leading the Owls to their first bowl game since the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl. At Tulsa, Graham's 4-year tenure produced three seasons of at least 10 wins, two CUSA West division titles and a tie for a third. His 6-year career record is 49-29 (.628).
Arizona State announced the firing of Dennis Erickson on November 28, effective after the school's bowl game. The 2011 season saw the Sun Devils win 6-of-8 games as they appeared to be well on their way to winning the PAC-12 South, before closing with 4 straight losses by a cumulative 18 points. To add insult to injury, Erickson's going away present was a 56-24 loss to Boise State in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas to drop his 5-year record at ASU to 31-31.
Terry Bowden was named the new head coach of the Akron Zips on December 22, replacing the fired Rob Ianello. It signals Bowden's return to the FBS for the first time since coaching Auburn from 1993 through the midway point of the 1998 season when he was fired after a 1-5 start. His 47-17-1 record with the Tigers included an undefeated 11-0 campaign in his inaugural year. After serving as an analyst with ABC, Bowden returned to the sidelines as the head coach of Division II North Alabama in 2009 and he compiled a record of 29-10 over three seasons with three playoff berths. Bowden was an assistant at Akron in 1986 in Gerry Faust's first season after Faust was fired from Notre Dame and replaced by Lou Holtz.
Ianello was fired on November 27 after posting identical 1-11 marks in his only two seasons at the helm. He was 1-21 vs. FBS teams and 1-1 vs. FCS schools. Ianello had spent the previous five years on Charlie Weis' staff at Notre Dame and was named the interim head coach when Weis was fired.
Honolulu-born Norm Chow was announced on December 21 at the new head coach at Hawaii. Greg McMackin announced his retirement on December 5 and surrendered $500,000 the school owed him on his 5-year contract, saying he hoped it would help strengthen the Hawaii football program. McMackin was promoted from defensive coordinator when June Jones left to take the head coaching job at SMU after the 2007 season that saw the Warriors go 12-0 before losing to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. McMackin's 4-year record was 29-25 overall and 18-13 in the WAC. The Warriors were co-champions of the conference in 2010 with records of 10-4 overall and 7-1 in the WAC, but they finished just 5-8 this year and missed the bowl season for the second time during his tenure.
Chow spent 2011 as the offensive coordinator at Utah, his alma mater, and stayed there through the Utes' December 31 Sun Bowl game against Georgia Tech, a 30-27 overtime win. He has also served in that same capacity with USC (2001-2004), UCLA (2008-2010) and the NFL's Tennessee Titans (2005-2007). He began his college coaching career in 1973 as a graduate assistant at BYU where he became co-offensive coordinator in 1982 and was OC from 1996-1999.
Tony Levine was promoted from assistant head coach to head coach of Houston on December 21. Levine was named interim head coach on December 10 when Kevin Sumlin left to take what had been Mike Sherman's job at Texas A&M. Levine's first game as head coach produced a 30-14 win over Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl at Cotton Bowl Stadium on January 2.
Sumlin led Houston to a 12-0 record before falling to Southern Miss in the Conference USA Championship game. Sumlin was 35-17 in 4 seasons at Houston where his team also lost in the 2009 CUSA championship game to East Carolina. He is a former Texas A&M assistant under R.C. Slocum in 2001 and 2002.
Texas A&M went on to defeat Northwestern 33-22 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in Houston on December 31 under interim head coach Tim DeRuyter, who afterward took the head coaching reins at Fresno State where he replaced Pat Hill.
Texas A&M announced December 1 that Sherman wouldn't be retained as head coach following a 6-6 season and a 25-25 overall record in 4 years at College Station. After the Aggies went 9-4 in 2010, there were high expectations for 2011 as the team was a consensus preseason top-10 pick. CollegeFootballPoll.com's Congrove Computer Rankings projected the Aggies as an 11-1 team overall and 8-1 in the conference. But after outperforming the computer's forecast in 2009 and 2010, the team greatly underachieved this year.
Fresno State hired DeRuyter, Sherman's defensive coordinator at A&M, on December 14.
Hill was fired December 4, a day after a loss to San Diego State sent Fresno State to a 4-9 finish for the season. It was only Hill's third losing season in his 15 years with the Bulldogs. He compiled a record of 112-80, including 78-40 in conference games, but his one and only conference title came in his third season in 1999.
Southern Miss announced Ellis Johnson as its new head coach on December 20, replacing Larry Fedora after the bowl season. Johnson has served as Steve Spurrier's defensive coordinator at South Carolina. North Carolina hired Fedora on December 8 to become its first permanent coach since Butch Davis was fired last summer.
The Golden Eagles were 34-19 in Fedora's 4 seasons at the helm, including 12-2 this year after winning the Conference USA Championship game over previously undefeated Houston and defeating Nevada 24-17 in the Hawai'i Bowl. The Tar Heels operated under interim head coach Everett Withers for the entire 2011 season after Davis was fired on July 27 after months of NCAA investigations. North Carolina finished the season with a 7-6 record after a 41-24 Independence Bowl loss to Missouri on December 26, Withers' last game as head coach. In the previous four seasons under Davis, North Carolina was 28-23, posting 8-5 records in each of his last three campaigns after a 4-8 inaugural year.
Gus Malzahn was introduced on December 14 as the new head coach at Arkansas State. Malzahn has been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Auburn for the past three seasons after serving in the same capacity for two seasons at Tulsa and one at Arkansas.
Malzahn replaces Hugh Freeze who was introduced on December 5 as the new head coach at Ole Miss where he takes the place of Houston Nutt. Freeze, who called his new post "a destination job", spent just one season as the head coach at Arkansas State, leading the Red Wolves to a 6-win improvement over the previous season from 4-8 to 10-2. In the process, Arkansas State captured its first outright Sun Belt title and gained its first 10-win (10-2) season since 1986. Freeze was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach when Steve Roberts resigned at the end of the 2009 season. The Red Wolves were co-champions of the conference in 2005 under Roberts, but never posted better than a 6-6 regular season record during his 9 years in Jonesboro. As a high school coach in Memphis, Freeze coached Michael Oher whose story was told in the award-winning feature film, "The Blind Side". Offensive coordinator David Gunn coached Arkansas State in the 38-20 loss to Northern Illinois in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
It was reported on November 7 that Nutt was forced to resign from Mississippi, effective at the end of the year. His 4-year tenure in Oxford started well and ended awful. Ole Miss posted 9-4 seasons in his first two campaigns, both of which included Cotton Bowl victories. But the following seasons saw those records drop to 4-8 in 2010 and 2-10 in 2011. The Rebels were 0-8 in the SEC in 2011 to run their conference losing streak to 14 in-a-row. Nutt's career record is 135-95.
Colorado State on December 13 introduced Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain as its new head coach, succeeding Steve Fairchild. McElwain joined the Rams after helping coach the Crimson Tide to the BCS Championship game victory over SEC West rival LSU.
Fairchild was fired on December 4 by Colorado State after a third consecutive 3-9 campaign. In his first season in 2008, Fairchild replaced Sonny Lubick and improved the Rams from 3-9 to 7-6 with a New Mexico Bowl win over Fresno State. He leaves CSU with 16-33 record overall, including a horrendous 7-24 mark in Mountain West Conference games.
Toledo on December 12 removed the "interim" tag from Matt Campbell and promoted him to head coach. On December 9, the University of Toledo athletics website announced that Tim Beckman had accepted the Illinois job, replacing Ron Zook. In his first game as head coach, Campbell led the Rockets to a heart-stopping 42-41 Military Bowl victory over Air Force. Beckman was 21-16 at Toledo, including a 34-32 loss to FIU in last year's Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl.
Illinois let Zook go on November 27 after his team collapsed to an 0-6 finish. The Fighting Illini reeled off 6 straight wins to open the season. Illinois was coached by defensive coordinator Vic Koenning in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, a 20-14 win over UCLA.
Zook began his Illinois head coaching stint in 2006 after spending three seasons in Florida (23-14). His third Illinois team made it the Rose Bowl where it suffered a 49-17 loss to USC. The next two years ended with sub-.500 records, but Illinois went 7-6 in 2010 and defeated Baylor in the Texas Bowl. The 2011 squad was the first in FBS history to win its first 6 games and lose its last 6. His final record in Champaign was 34-51.
UCLA announced on December 10 that it had hired Jim Mora to replace Rick Neuheisel. Mora is a former NFL coach with the Atlanta Falcons (2004-2006) and assistant with the Seattle Seahawks. He has worked as an analyst on the NFL Network since the 2010 season.
Neuheisel was told November 28 that he would be out of his self-described dream job after coaching the Bruins in the PAC-12's first conference championship game which they lost 49-31 to Oregon to drop their record to 6-7. The former UCLA quarterback was 21-29, including a 50-0 loss to crosstown rival USC in his last regular season game. The Trojans would have taken UCLA's place in the conference championship tilt were it not on postseason probation.
Offensive coordinator Mike Johnson was named interim head coach for the Bruins in their Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl loss to Illinois.
Kansas posted on its website December 8 that Charlie Weis will leave his post as offensive coordinator at Florida and assume the head coaching duties with the Jayhawks. Weis succeeds Turner Gill who went 5-19 overall and 1-16 in conference games in two seasons. He was relieved of his duties on November 27 after Kansas completed its 2011 schedule with a record of 2-10, going winless in the Big 12 (0-9). He lost both games he coached against rival Kansas State by an average score of 59-14. Opposing offenses scored 45 or more points in 12 of his 24 games.
Weis was 35-27 in five seasons as the head coach at Notre Dame from 2005-2009, losing at least 6 games in each of his last three seasons.
Memphis introduced TCU co-offensive coordinator Justin Fuente as its new head coach on December 8, replacing Larry Porter who was fired November 27. Porter was 3-21 overall and 1-15 in CUSA in two seasons at Memphis. His team finished last in the Congrove Computer Rankings of all 120 teams in 2010 and was ranked 118th on the day of his dismissal. Fuente joined the TCU staff in 2007 as running backs coach after six seasons at Illinois State.
Charley Molnar, Notre Dame's offensive coordinator the last two seasons, was named the head football coach at UMass on December 8. The Minutemen will spend next year in transition to the FBS level and become full-fledged members of the MAC in 2013.
On December 5, Carl Pellini was announced as the new head coach at FAU, succeeding retiring coaching legend Howard Schnellenberger. Pellini spent the last four years as Nebraska's defensive coordinator under his brother, Bo.
Schnellenberger, age 77, announced on August 11 that he would retire at the end of the 2011 season. The deep-voiced, mustached icon led the Miami Hurricanes to the 1983 national title and was hired to start the FAU football program which began play in 2001. He guided the Boca Raton school to a 11-year record of 58-74 (30-44 since becoming a fully qualified FBS member in 2006), including 2-0 in bowl games. He is 158-151-3 overall, but only 4 of his previous 26 campaigns have finished with his team ranked in the Coaches' or AP polls. The Owls were a dismal 1-11 his final season.
Curtis Johnson was named the successor to Bob Toledo at Tulane on December 5. Toledo resigned on October 18th after a 2-5 start dropped his record to 15-40 in 4-plus years with the Green Wave. Offensive line coach Mark Hutson was interim head coach for the rest of the season and went 0-6. Johnson has been the wide receivers coach with the NFL's New Orleans Saints since 2006. The University of Idaho alumnus is a native of New Orleans.
Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee was named the new head coach of UAB on December 7 and promised wins "sooner than you think" during his introduction press conference. He also said he would not be with the Razorbacks during their bowl game so he can start his new job immediately. Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino "leaked" the news a day before the hire was officially announced when he issued a congratulatory press release.
McGee replaces Neil Callaway who was 18-42 in 5 seasons at UAB and never reached .500 in a single season. The Blazers lost their 2011 season finale 38-35 at previously winless FAU. UAB hasn't had a winning season since 2004 (7-5) and has never topped the 7-win mark since joining the ranks of the FBS in 1996.
On November 30, a day after announcing Paul Wulff's dismissal, Washington State announced Mike Leach as the new head coach. Leach is two seasons removed from Texas Tech where he was fired for alleged mistreatment of WR Adam James (son of ESPN analyst Craig James) who had been diagnosed with a mild concussion. Leach compiled a record of 84-43 in ten seasons in Lubbock with winning records and bowl appearances each year.
Wulff's four-year tenure netted just 9 victories in 4 seasons. He was 9-40 overall and an even uglier 4-34 in PAC-10/PAC-12 games. His teams surrendered an average of 38 points per game and only improved to No. 93 in scoring defense this year after finishing 110th in 2010, 118th in 2009 and 119th in 2008. Prior to his move to Pullman, Wulff was 53-40 in 8 seasons at Eastern Washington with best marks of 9-4 in 2003 and 2007. But his replacement with the Eagles, Beau Baldwin, won an FCS national championship in 2010 with a 13-2 record.
The report on November 28 that Urban Meyer had accepted the Ohio State head coaching job came as no surprise as sources reported a done deal several days before. Everyone knew the official announcement would be delayed until after the annual bitter rivalry game with Michigan. There also isn't much you can say about Meyer that isn't already known.
He is a University of Cincinnati and Ohio State alumnus and former assistant coach of Ohio State (1986-87) who enjoyed brilliantly successful 2-year stints at Bowling Green (17-6, 2001-2002) and Utah (22-2, 2003-2004) before landing and Florida (65-15, 2005-2010) and winning 2 BCS titles in 6 years. He retired from the Gators after the 2010 season, citing health issues and the need to spend time with his family, but wound up working for ESPN.
Meyer brings a career record of 104-23 to Columbus and a 7-1 bowl record with the lone loss against Michigan in the 2007 Capital One Bowl. His 81.9 winning percentage tops all active coaches with a minimum 5 years on the job (source: BuckeyeGrove.com). He replaces Luke Fickell who spent the entire 2011 season as the interim head coach after Jim Tressel was forced out for lying to NCAA investigators about TattooGate.
Former Michigan and West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez was named November 21 as the new head coach at Arizona, replacing Mike Stoops who was fired on October 10 and succeeding interim head coach Tim Kish (defensive coordinator).
Stoops' Wildcats were just 1-5 and coming off a 37-27 loss at Oregon State. At the time, its only win was against FCS member Northern Arizona in the opener. Stoops was 41-50 overall at Arizona and just 27-38 in conference games. Though his teams reached bowl games in each of the last three seasons, the only win came in the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl over BYU. Kish was 3-3 in the interim.
Rodriguez was extremely successful at West Virginia where he was 60-26 with four Big East titles in his last five years and at least ten victories in each of his final three years. But Rich-rod bombed at Michigan, leaving a legacy of some of that school's historically worst seasons. Under Rodriguez, the nation's all-time winningest program won only 15 of 37 games and was blown out 52-14 by Mississippi State in its only bowl appearance. Additionally, Michigan was put on three years probation related to NCAA violations under his watch.
New Mexico made Mike Locksley the first head coach to be fired during the 2011 season on September 25. The move came a day after the Lobos fell 48-45 in overtime to FCS member Sam Houston State for their 7th straight loss, dropping Locksley's record to 2-26 in 2-1/3 seasons. Associate head coach and defensive coordinator George Barlow was immediately named interim head coach for the rest of the season.
Locksley was a former Illinois offensive coordinator and Florida recruiting coordinator. He replaced Rocky Long after the 2008 season when Long resigned after a 4-8 campaign. Long had taken the Lobos to five bowl games in 7 seasons from 2002-2008, including a 2007 New Mexico Bowl win for the school's first bowl victory since 1961. Long became the defensive coordinator at San Diego State under Brady Hoke in 2009 and took over as head coach of the Aztecs last year when Hoke replaced Rich Rodriguez at Michigan.
New Mexico brought Bob Davie out of retirement when the school hired the former Notre Dame head coach on November 16th. Davie was 35-25 as the head coach of the Irish from 1997-2001.
Locksley's tenure was scandal-ridden. He was suspended for a game in his first season for punching an assistant coach and sued for sexual harassment by a former administrative assistant. Prior to his final game, 19-year old Joshua Butts was arrested for DWI while driving a vehicle owned by a Locksley family member. Reportedly, there were three other intoxicated underage men in the car when Butts was pulled over after nearly stroking a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Reports had said that Locksley barely clung to his job after the 2010 season when the school renegotiated his buyout to a more manageable figure after a second consecutive 1-11 season. His last contest drew an announced crowd of 16,313 to make it the lowest-attended New Mexico home game since 1992.