Osia (pronounced Oh-say) Lewis begins his fifth season as UNM's defensive coordinator. After position duties with the defensive line his first three years, Lewis is in his second campaign handling the Lobo linebackers.
Lewis was named to the post on Jan. 3, 2003, after spending six years at Illinois. Lewis recruits western New Mexico, the Chicago metropolitan area and Midwestern junior colleges.
Lewis was selected to participate in the 2005 NCAA Expert Coaching Program in Indianapolis. The program - which was held prior to the Black Coaches Association Convention - is designed to develop new and innovative coaching approaches by helping coaches develop sound talent evaluation and recruiting systems; strengthen their relationships with players; improve their understanding of practice and game-day strategy; and address off-field issues.
Senior linebacker Cody Kase enters the 2007 season as one of 42 players on the 2007 Lott Trophy Watch List. Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, it's the first college football award that equally recognizes athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
In 2006, lobo/safety Quincy Black - a Lewis recruit from Chicago - was named first team all-MWC and was a 3rd-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. DE Tyler Donaldson and CB DeAndre Wright were second team all-conference selections while CB Glover Quin gained honorable mention in the MWC.
Since 2000, the Lobos have finished no worse than second in the league in sacks, leading the MWC from 2000-04.
New Mexico finished 2004 by leading the MWC in rushing defense (108.2), total defense (323.2), scoring defense (18.7) and sacks (42). In the NCAA stats, the Lobos were 17th in rushing defense, 20th in scoring defense and 25th in total defense. NT Marcus Parker was named first team all-MWC while DE Michael Tuohy earned third team Freshman All-America recognition by The Sporting News.
In 2003, the Lobo defense ranked fifth in the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 86.1 yards a game, the lowest figure since stats became official in 1946. New Mexico was 28th in total defense (334.3 ypg). In conference games only, the Lobos led the league in rushing defense (86.6 ypg), scoring defense (19.7 ppg) and total defense (278.9 ypg).
Including honorable mention honors, New Mexico had nine defensive players represented on the all-conference team in 2003. DE D.J. Renteria and S Brandon Ratcliff were chosen first team, Ratcliff for the second year in a row. Second-team picks were DEs Daniel Kegler and Zach Rupp, LBs Daniel Gawronski and Billy Strother and CB Gabriel Fulbright. LB Nick Speegle and S Sidney Wiley were selected honorable mention.
Lewis, 44, is working with Rocky Long for the second time as the two coaches spent five seasons together (1991-95) at Oregon State. Long was the Beavers' defensive coordinator under head coach Jerry Pettibone while Lewis coached the outside linebackers and special teams. Lewis was also at OSU for the 1996 season when Bronco Mendenhall - the coach Lewis replaced at UNM and now the head coach at BYU - was the defensive coordinator.
In his six years at Illinois, Lewis coached the defensive line (1997-2000) and linebackers (2001-02). The Fightin' Illini won the 2001 Big 10 title (7-1) and finished No. 12 in the final Associated Press rankings. Illinois was 10-2 overall and played LSU in the Nokia Sugar Bowl.
Illinois middle linebacker Jerry Schumacher earned second team All-Big Ten honors in 2001 and `02, leading the team in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks both years. He finished second in the Big 10 in 2002 with 122 tackles, including 12 stops for loss.
In 2000, senior Fred Wakefield became the first Illinois defensive end to capture first team All-Big Ten honors since Simeon Rice and Kevin Hardy in 1995. Wakefield totaled nine sacks and 21 tackles for loss and his career marks rank in the top-three in the Illinois record book.
Lewis tutored Wakefield and senior defensive end Rameel Connor during the 1999 campaign. The duo combined to produced 12 sacks and 120 tackles, including 26 for a loss. In 1998, senior Jeff Weisse broke Simeon Rice's single-game school record with six tackles for loss against Middle Tennessee State.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Lewis earned his bachelor's degree in Social Science Education from Oregon State in 1986 and his master's in Education from OSU in 1989.
Lewis was a four-year letterman and a decorated linebacker at Oregon State from 1982-85. A long jumper and standout quarterback and punter at Tucson (Ariz.) High School, Lewis played quarterback, safety, linebacker and wide receiver for the Beavers. As a senior in 1985, he was named OSU's Most Inspirational Player, served as team captain and earned All-Pac-10 and honorable mention All-American honors by the Associated Press. Lewis still holds school records for single-season defensive points, season fumble recoveries (4), career fumble recoveries (8) and tackles for loss in a game (4).
Lewis had professional stints with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and the Chicago Bruisers and New York Firebirds of the Arena Football League. He earned All-Arena League honors in 1988 and played in the 1988 Arena Bowl.
Lewis was a graduate assistant in the OSU athletics department from 1987-88 before moving to Western Oregon State as an assistant football coach in 1989-90. He joined Pettibone's Oregon State staff in January of 1991.
Lewis and his wife, Darlene, have a son, Marvin, 12, and a daughter, Kiana (key-AWN-uh), 10.