Walker leaves NMSU for NFL assistant job
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico State football coach DeWayne Walker stepped down Thursday after four losing seasons to take a job as a defensive backs coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Walker went 10-40 with the Aggies, never winning more than four games in a season.
In a statement, Walker thanked athletic director McKinley Boston for the opportunity to allow him to coach the Aggies. "Unfortunately, I did not get the program as far as I would have liked from a wins and losses standpoint. But we do have a better locker room, better kids and a better foundation for the program moving forward."
Following Walker's departure, offensive coordinator Doug Martin was named interim coach.
Martin, 49, recently returned to the program as O-coordinator after
serving in the same position in 2011. He also was head coach at Kent
State for seven seasons before his first stint with NMSU, going 29-53 in
"Obviously, N.M. State is a place I firmly believe in, and that's the reason why I came back," Martin said Thursday. "I feel there is unlimited potential for this football program and for Las Cruces as a city to take ownership of this team."
New Mexico State didn't announce plans regarding a search for a permanent coach, but Walker's exit does not come at a good time. Just two weeks before national signing day, when high school prospects decide where they will attend school, Martin and the Aggies' staff will be scrambling to keep the recruits who were interested in coming to NMSU on board.
The timing, along with the programs uncertain future as an independent, could also make it difficult to find top-notch candidates. The Aggies will be playing as an FBS independent next season because defections made the Western Athletic Conference give up on trying to field a football league in 2013.
On top of that, New Mexico State has traditionally struggled to field a winning team. The Aggies have not appeared in a bowl game since 1960.
Walker was hired in December 2008 to replace Hal Mumme after serving as defensive coordinator at UCLA for three years. The 52-year-old Walker also has NFL jobs on his resume. Before his time at UCLA, he was an assistant with the Washington Redskins and New York Giants from 2002-05.
In 2009, Walker was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, but the charge was dismissed after authorities said his breath alcohol level was well below the state's legal limit for presumed intoxication.