ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico will honor former Lobo All-America football player Brian Urlacher on Heroes Day, Nov. 8, during the Lobos’ 7 p.m. game against Air Force on Branch Field at University Stadium.
UNM will retire Urlacher’s jersey during the game, and all future Lobos must have special permission from the UNM head coach to wear No. 44. Previously, UNM retired the numbers of Mike Williams (40), Bobby Santiago (42) and Don Perkins (43). Urlacher’s jersey retirement means his number will be showcased with the other three members of the Lobo Football Legends on a new display at University Stadium.
“Brian Urlacher has been the most recognizable ambassador for Lobo football for more than a decade because of the level of excellence he has achieved,” UNM coach Bob Davie said. “We owe Brian a tremendous debt of gratitude, and we are excited to honor his accomplishments as a Lobo.”
Urlacher retired over the summer after a spectacular 13-year career as middle linebacker of the Chicago Bears. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro selection. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2000 and later became the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. He holds the Bears’ record for career tackles and was voted to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
At New Mexico, Urlacher was an All-America safety his senior season in 1999. He also was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes annually to the nation’s best defensive back. He led the Mountain West with 154 tackles and had a 71-yard fumble return for a touchdown. He also played wide receiver, leading the Lobos with six touchdown receptions, returned 10 punts with a 15.8-yard average and returned three kickoffs with a 26.3-yard average.
As a junior, Urlacher led the nation with a UNM-record 178 tackles.
To commemorate the occasion, UNM is announcing a promotion, “The Urlacher Special” to pay tribute to his No. 44 Lobo jersey. The special includes four general admission tickets, four regular hot dogs and four small soft drinks for $44. Only 444 of these special-purchase units are available, so act fast. This special is available only in person at the Lobo Ticket Office or online at www.unmtickets.com.
Also as part of Heroes Day, all fans with a valid military ID can purchase Turquoise Level tickets for $10 each. There will be a Heroes Day display in our Howl Zone and Wounded Warriors recognition during the game. The first 2,000 fans will receive Heroes Day mini replica helmets.
Urlacher will be in attendance at the UNM-Air Force game. Make plans now to see the newest Lobo Legend in person Nov. 8 on Branch Field at University Stadium.