Just wanted to wish you all a safe and happy new year.
I’m hearing that DeWayne Walker probably won’t be able to hire any of the UCLA defensive assistant coaches because New Mexico State couldn’t afford them. Walker is making $375,00 per year over a five-year contract (yes, that’s the same salary he made at UCLA, but the cost of living in New Mexico is CONSIDERABLY less than in California). I’m hearing Walker will bring UCLA defensive grad assistant Mike Rutenberg with him but that’s probably it from the UCLA staff.
I get back from vacation Friday, which is the perfect time to kick off the first Q&A segment of 2009.
However, let’s refrain from the “Who will be UCLA’s next defensive coordinator?” questions. Coach Rick Neuheisel said he won’t make any moves until he meets with his staff Sunday. So, since this is Wednesday and the answers run Friday, let’s not get into who the next coordinator will be. When I get information I will pass it along to you, as I always do.
Also, keep the questions to 50 words or less or they will not get answered.
Now, let’s get started with some questions.
New Mexico State football coach DeWayne Walker said the Aggies will run the same defensive system he did at UCLA. Therefore, it would not be surprising if Walker tried to lure a defensive assistant or two with him to Las Cruces. When Rick Neuheisel retained Walker as defensive coordinator, it was important to Walker that Neuheisel also retain defensive line coach Todd Howard and linebackers coach Chuck Bullough. All three received raises at the time.
DeWayne Walker just finished his news conference in New Mexico State and named several coaches for helping him along the way, like Joe Gibbs, Steve Mariucci and Pete Carroll. He gave the most thanks to former UCLA coach Karl Dorrell.
“Karl gave me a chance to be a coordinator,” Walker said. “Without Karl, I wouldn’t be here. I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve been very fortunate to learn from the best (throughout my career). This is not a losing program, we just have a losing record. We’re going to change that.”
DeWayne Walker’s news conference at New Mexico State will be streamed live here on the New Mexico State Web site. That’s the site NMSU listed on its Web site if you want to listen in on it. Scheduled to start at 9 a.m. PST.
Rick Neuheisel is vacationing with his family in Sun Valley, Idaho and is unavailable for comment. However, UCLA released this statement from Neuheisel:
Here’s the press release New Mexico State just issued moments ago concerning the hiring of UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker as its football coach.