New Mexico coach Davie prepares for homecoming against Pitt
By Jerry DiPaola
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 8:27 p.m.
After coach Bob Davie was hired last year at New Mexico, which had won three games in three seasons, he called each returning player into his office.
“If you could change one thing about the program,” Davie asked them, “what would it be?”
Davie recalled their answers Wednesday while taking a break from preparing the Lobos for their game Saturday against Pitt, a homecoming for the Moon graduate.
“Every one of those kids said it was discipline,” he said. “Guys did what they wanted to do (under the previous coach, Mike Locksley) and did things when they wanted to do them. There was division on the team. Guys quit, just caved in.”
The former Notre Dame coach (1997-2001) was pleased the players were asking for discipline, structure and guidance. In his mind, there was no other way to fix what was broken.
“When we took over here, it was really pretty dysfunctional, just a lot of issues,” said Davie, who came to New Mexico after 10 years as a college football analyst for ESPN.
“If you want discipline, you are going to get discipline,” he recalled telling the players. “Not everyone can do it that way. That's why not everybody chose to stay. That's fine. I understand that. But for us to re-establish this program, that was the way it had to be.”
Davie, 58, was content with the calm lifestyle that TV work provided him. But one day he and his wife Joanne were sitting on their patio in Scottsdale, Ariz., when she suggested he look into the New Mexico job.
That was enough for Davie, who started his 20-year, six-school career in 1977 as a graduate assistant at Pitt.
“It's like a curse,” he said. “You just have to do it again. The chance to take something and truly rebuild it, put your name on it and really start from scratch. The opportunity to build something at a place where people say it can't be done is exciting.”
New Mexico (1-1) won four games in 2012 while improving its scoring margin by 25.2 points and rushing yards by 188.1 per game.
Davie, a three-year starting tight end at Youngstown State, played for and coached with an interesting collection of people starting with former Blackhawk coach John Miller, who was his ninth-grade basketball coach at Moon; Jackie Sherrill; Jimmy Johnson; Dave Wannstedt and Foge Fazio at Pitt; and Notre Dame's Lou Holtz, who he replaced as head coach in 1997.
At Youngstown State, he played with NFL quarterbacks Ron Jaworski and Cliff Stoudt. But his YSU roommate, former Ellwood City basketball coach Al Campman, knew Davie best.
“There are a lot of great players who struggle in the coaching realm because of how hard you have to work,” Campman said.
“But Bob was a worker. He knew what it took to be great.”
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt’s Donald wins Lombardi Award
- Pitt defensive lineman Donald brings home Bronko Nagurski Award
- Pitt’s Dixon discusses local signees