New Mexico coach Gonzales relishes chance to restore program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Danny Gonzales said Wednesday that taking the New Mexico head coaching job came down to having an opportunity to return home and a chance to turn around the program he grew up around.

“I had many opportunities and I only wanted one,” Gonzales said. “And I’m so happy I got it.”

New Mexico introduced Gonzales on Wednesday as the successor to Bob Davie, who stepped down after the season.

The 43-year-old Gonzales has been Herm Edwards’ defensive coordinator for the past two seasons at Arizona State. He was promoted to assistant head coach before this season began. Prior to coaching at Arizona State, Gonzales was at San Diego State for seven seasons and was the defensive coordinator in his final year.

He started his coaching career at UNM as a defensive graduate assistant from 1999-2002.

Gonzales walked on at New Mexico and played for the Lobos as a punter and safety.

He vowed to have the Lobos competing for Mountain West championships.

“We’re going to recruit the best New Mexico kids and we’re going to recruit the best football players that want to be New Mexico Lobos,” he said. “If they want to be a Lobo and they can play, they’re going to be here and they’re going to graduate.”

Gonzales signed a five-year contract worth $700,000 annually, said athletic director Eddie Nuñez.