Football Clinic a Hit With Area Coaches
April 5, 2010
By David Lepre
The University of New Mexico football coaching staff concluded its coaches clinic Saturday afternoon. The clinic was a three-day event, highlighted by presentations from head coach Mike Locksley and his staff, keynote speaker coach Larry Coker and a full, hands-on set of practices and scrimmages.
Coaches from all corners of New Mexico and the Albuquerque metro area attended, as did coaching staffs from Texas and Arizona. The head coaches of the Class 5A, 4A and 3A New Mexico high school state football champions each made a presentation. Each member of the Lobos' coaching staff also took time to work with the clinic attendees, mostly during one-on-one sessions.
The Lobo coaches also presented, individually in film study and during the two full-team practices that took place during the clinic. Attendees were encouraged to jump in and get involved, with Lobo coaches taking time to demonstrate specific drills and techniques for the visiting coaches.
"Being the flagship university, we're the ambassadors for football in this state," coach Mike Locksley said. "Having a coach like Larry Coker come in and talk, having the state-championship coaches talk, having our coaches heavily involved for the last three days - I thought that it went really well."
A 28-year collegiate coaching veteran, Coker is a two-time national coach of the year recipient, winning the award in 2001 and 2002 while coaching at national power, Miami. His Hurricanes won the national championship in 2001 with a roster loaded with future NFL pro-bowlers.
Coker spoke about numerous topics, ranging from his time at Miami to his current position heading up the brand new UT-San Antonio football program, where he was named head coach on March 6, 2009. Coker and Locksley got to know each other while Locksley was an assistant at Maryland.
"I really enjoyed my time here in Albuquerque," Coker said. "Coach Locksley and his staff have been very gracious. It's been a lot of fun and really a learning experience. I sat in on the rest of the clinic, got a chance to listen to the other coachers talk, watch a couple of practices and take in the scrimmage (Saturday). So it's been a very rewarding experience for me I'm glad I'm here."
Coaches from Albuquerque's high schools, from the largest to smallest classification, sent their coaching staffs. Cibola's Judge Chavez, who coached current New Mexico TE Josh Mader, finds real value in the clinic.
"I think it's important that high school coaches in Albuquerque - and also New Mexico - have a great relationship with the UNM coaches," Chavez said. "We feel like we can come out at anytime or call at anytime.
"I make sure that my staff and I come out to all of the clinics here. I think it's important that we're here to represent Albuquerque's high school coaches to our university."
Bataan Military Academy coach Josephus Edmundson attended the camp for the first time. An Indiana native who grew up watching New Mexico men's basketball coach Steve Alford play, Edmundson was blown away by the clinic.
"To be able to come in here and see where a college plays ball - be with the players, be with the coaches, to see a facility like this - oh wow," said Edmundson. "For a high school coach starting out a new program, coming here gives you lots of ideas. It's awesome."
"Seeing the Albuquerque coaches represented here is really important," Locksley said. "My goal one day is to have this thing where it's run in conjunction with the state coaches association, where we can get everybody from Y.A.F.L. coaches throughout the state coming up to Albuquerque to spend three days here and continue to grow this thing.
"We want to continue to be ambassadors for the great game of football and develop it here in the state. We have great coaches and we've got great players."