What They're Saying About New Mexico Head Coach Mike Locksley
Dec. 9, 2008
"I am very excited for Mike to have this opportunity. He is ready to take this next step and I know he will be a great ambassador for the University of New Mexico. Locks is the whole package. He can coach, he can recruit and he can motivate his players. He did a tremendous job with our offense here and will be missed."
"Coach Locksley built his reputation on his ability to recruit as well as anybody in the country. But the time spent with both Ralph Friedgen at Maryland and Ron Zook at Illinois has allowed him to grow from a young aggressive assistant to being recognized as one of the great offensive minds in the game."
"The Lobos were able to snare one of the most sought after assistant coaches in the country. Locksley should be able to hit the ground running because of the bevy of talent New Mexico returns next year."
"Playing for Coach Locks has taught me the values of football and life. Being a raw kid from Chicago, I was blind to all of that and Locks showed me the way. He emphasized being a man on and off the field. Whether it was explaining a five-step drop or supplying me information on begin a teenage father, he was always there. Time spent with Coach Locks has benefited my character, my work ethic, my knowledge of football and fatherhood. I owe him for what he has done in my life. At times I don't know whether to call him Coach or Dad. He's been a father to me and I will forever be thankful."
"Coach Locksley is the biggest reason why I am in the NFL today and words can't describe how appreciative I am that I had an opportunity to play for him. I had a chance to leave for the NFL after my junior year of college and the main reason that I came back was to play one more year for Coach Locksley. When I first arrived in the NFL my coaches told me that I was very prepared to play and I owe most of that to Coach Locks. As a player if you trust him, if you do what he says and buy into his program you are going to be very successful. I have the utmost respect and love for Coach Locksley and his family, and words can't describe how much he means to me."
"When I found out that Coach Locksley was getting the job, my first thought was it is about time. He is very deserving of being a head coach. When we were at Maryland, he really looked out for us. Players respond to him and trust him. For me personally, he was always on top of me making sure I stayed focused on what I needed to do. He always cared about making sure I was going to be successful."
-- Shawne Merriman, linebacker, San Diego Chargers and University of Maryland
"I applaud the selection of Coach Locksley. Much attention will be placed on his status as one of four current African American head coaches in the Bowl Subdivision and as the first African American head football coach at the University of New Mexico. These are significant, even historic matters. However, Coach Locksley stands before you today because he happens to be an outstanding football coach who will bring an exciting brand of football to UNM and who will challenge student-athletes to perform academically. I am impressed with his emphasis on recruiting student-athletes who will be winners in the classroom as well as on the football field. Paul Krebs made a superb choice."
"There is no doubt that Coach Locksley is going to be successful. He is a true leader and coach. He instills confidence in all his players and really has the courage to make tough decisions. But at the same time, he is a compassionate man who will listen to his players and coaching staff. He has great integrity and is a high character man. Coach Locks gets the best out of his players because he is an encourager.
There is a quote in a book about leadership that really epitomizes Locks.
`You can get hired for a job because of what you know, but who you are as a
person determines how well you will do.' He is quick to see a team's need
and strengthens everyone around him with his commitment. He can empower a
team and that's why people like to play for him. And that is the type of
coach he has been from the very beginning."
"Before Coach Locksley got to Florida, we didn't really look at the fundamentals of the position, but once he arrived, he taught us how to read different defenses, how to read the hole and how to pick your blocks. When we were on the field under Coach Locksley we would bust our butts every day, but off the field we had fun and he treated us just like we were his own kids. There is no doubt he made me a better running back and a better person in my two years under him."
"It was easy to see working with Mike that he possessed all of the skills to become a successful head coach at the Division I level. Mike is an outstanding coach, recruiter and leader of young men. New Mexico has selected an outstanding person to lead its football program."
"The BCA is ecstatic over this great opportunity for Mike Locksley to lead the football program at New Mexico. Mike has been an acknowledged talent on the collegiate football coaching front; this appointment will be a positive experience for all concerned."
"Mike Locksley has been on my radar for years. He is one of the most accomplished young coaches in the country; great recruiter, great offensive mind, but as outstanding a coach as he is, Mike is even a better person. I have great respect for him and when the team, the university and the fans meet him - they will too."