DeWayne Walker was introduced Wednesday as New Mexico State's new football coach, promising to reassert the Aggies in the conference and region.
"Anybody who comes in here, especially New Mexico and UTEP,
we've got to let them have it," Walker said.
Walker, who spent three seasons as UCLA's defensive coordinator,
is the seventh black head coach among the 119 major college
football schools and fourth hired this month, along with Mike
Locksley at New Mexico, Mike Haywood at Miami of Ohio, and Ron
English at Eastern Michigan.
NMSU athletic director McKinley Boston said Walker met his
requirements of experience, being a successful recruiter and having
"fire in the belly."
Walker was offered a five-year contract to replace Hal Mumme,
who was fired in early December after the Aggies went 3-9 last
fall, including a 1-7 mark in the Western Athletic Conference.
The 48-year-old Walker has a major rebuilding project on his
hands. The Aggies lost their last seven games to end the season and
have gone longer than any other team since their last bowl
appearance - in the 1960 Sun Bowl.
Winning will take a change in attitude at New Mexico State,
Walker said. Once the school changes its culture, the wins will
take care of themselves, he said.
"We have to instill confidence in these young men," he said.
"They're going to have to believe in me, and they're going to have
to believe in the vision we have," he said.
The new coach also has some plans off the field: He wants team
members to be respectful.
"I want them to open doors for their girlfriends, I want them
to say thank you. ... Those are some of the things we want to
create as well as play football," he said.
"You have to be honest, you have to have integrity, you have to
have character, you have to teach these young men to be men,"
Walker plans to start forming his coaching staff next week. He
hinted it won't be an entirely new slate. "It's important to
retain a coach or two because they know things you don't know," he
Walker said he not only has to recruit future Aggies who will
believe in his vision, but he also has to "re-recruit" current
team members "to buy into what we're trying to do."
He acknowledged the Aggies' defensive line is a concern, saying,
"We've got to go kick some doors down and gets us some defensive
At UCLA, Walker helped improve the Bruins' defense. In 2008,
ULCA's passing defense ranked 11th overall, holding opponents to
just 167.6 yards per game. In 2007, UCLA was ranked 14th in rushing
defense with 109.2 yards per game, 29th in total defense with
343.23 yards and 29th in scoring defense with 22.3 points.
Walker joined UCLA from the Washington Redskins, where he
coached the secondary during the 2004 and 2005 seasons under head
coach Joe Gibbs. He spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons as secondary
coach of the New York Giants under coordinator Johnnie Lynn. He
also served as secondary coach of the New England Patriots for
three seasons and was an associate head coach at USC under Pete
Walker began his coaching career at Mount San Antonio College in
1988, serving as secondary coach for four seasons before becoming
defensive coordinator. He also coached at Utah State, BYU, Oklahoma
State and California before joining the Patriots.
A former cornerback, Walker was a two-year starter at Minnesota.
After college, he played one season each with the Edmonton Eskimos,
the Oakland Invaders and the Arizona Outlaws.
He earned his bachelor's degree from Regents College in 1992.