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New Mexico head coach Bob Davie will not return in 2020

Another Mountain West program will have a new head coach in 2020. 

New Mexico announced Monday that it has mutually agreed to part ways with head coach Bob Davie. Davie will coach the season finale against Utah State on Saturday to cap off his eight seasons in Albuquerque. 

The news of Davie’s departure comes hours after UNLV announced that it will move on from Tony Sanchez at season’s end. 

“After meeting with Coach Davie this morning, we both agree that the time has come for a new direction for our football program. I’m appreciative of the work that Coach Davie has done at UNM,” athletic director Eddie Nuñez said in a press release. 

Davie was the head coach at Notre Dame for five seasons (1997-2001) before spending 10 years working at ESPN. But Davie decided to return to the sideline and accepted the New Mexico job ahead of the 2012 season. The Lobos went 4-9 in his first season, surpassing the number of wins the program combined for in the three seasons that preceded his arrival. 

Bob Davie has a 35-63 record in eight seasons at New Mexico. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)

Most notably, Davie coached the Lobos to back-to-back winning seasons in 2015 and 2016, including a 9-4 record in 2016 — a season that included a win in the New Mexico Bowl, just the second UNM bowl victory since 1961. 

However, Davie has not been able to sustain that level of play. New Mexico went 3-9 in both 2017 and 2018 and enters Saturday’s finale with a 2-9 record. The program also had some off-field issues with Davie being handed a 30-day suspension following an investigation into his program.

In all, Davie has a 35-63 record at the school.

"In stepping aside, I'm proud of what we accomplished at UNM, but we are all disappointed that we have not been able to sustain the success that we achieved and all desire" Davie said. "My family and I will be forever grateful to UNM for giving me the opportunity to coach again after being at ESPN for 10 years."

Davie, 65, suffered what was described as a “serious medical incident” during UNM’s season-opening win over Sam Houston State. The medical issue caused Davie to miss the next two games before he returned for the team’s Sept. 28 road game against Liberty. 

New Mexico is now the fifth FBS program with a head coach opening, joining Rutgers, Arkansas, Florida State and UNLV.

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