December 3, 2003
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - The 2003 All-Mountain West Conference teams and honorees were announced this morning with the University of New Mexico earning a program-best 13 spots on the first and second teams, the most of any school in the conference, as voted by the league's eight head coaches and conference-wide media panel. MWC Champion Utah and Colorado State followed with eight selections apiece. UNM had a program-record seven first-team honorees, including four on offense, bettering the previous mark of six first-teamers in 1978.
Sophomore running back DonTrell Moore (Roswell, N.M.) joined UNLV safety Jamaal Brimmer as the league's only unanimous first-team selections, while senior safety Brandon Ratcliff (Dallas, Texas) was also a repeat first-team honoree. Eight Lobos earned all-MWC honors in 2002, which was previously the most in school history.
New Mexico's "Hitmen" dominated the offensive line with senior tackle Jason Lenzmeier (Frisco, Texas), junior guard Claude Terrell (LaMarque, Texas) and sophomore center Ryan Cook (Albuquerque, N.M.) all earning first-team honors for the first time in their careers. The three first-teamers on the offensive line are the most for UNM since 1971. Center Brandon Turner was the last Lobo lineman to make the first-team in 1996. Moore and the three linemen are the most first-team offense selections for the Lobos in 32 years when OT John Urban, OG Tom Walker, C Tom Klein and QB Rocky Long earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors.
Joining Ratcliff on defense was senior defensive lineman D.J. Renteria (Roswell, N.M.), who earned first-team honors for the first time in his career. Junior Wes Zunker earned all-MWC accolades for the first time, joining Vladimir Borombozin (2001) as the second UNM kicker to earn first-team honors under Rocky Long.
Six Lobos were named to the all-MWC second-team, including five on defense. Senior defensive ends Zach Rupp and Daniel Kegler, and senior linebackers Daniel Gawronski and Billy Strother represented the nation's fourth-ranked run defense, while sophomore Gabriel Fulbright was a second-team selection at cornerback. Senior wide receiver Dwight Counter, who led the MWC in yards per catch, was a second-team offensive selection for the first time. Counter earned second-team honors last year as a punt returner.
UNM also had three honorable mention all-MWC selections in senior quarterback Casey Kelly (Portland, Ore.), junior linebacker Nick Speegle (Albuquerque, N.M.) and senior safety Sidney Wiley (Hazelhurst, Miss.). Speegle earned honorable mention accolades for the second straight year, while Kelly and Wiley were honored for the first times in their careers.
CSU quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt earned Offensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight season, while San Diego State junior linebacker Kirk Morrison was the Defensive Player of the Year. Aztec running back Lynell Hamilton was named Freshman of the Year, while Utah's Urban Meyer was selected as Coach of the Year.