(Photo courtesy of GoLobos.com) UNM football coach Bob Davie on Tuesday promoted safeties coach Jordan Peterson to defensive coordinator.
By Greg Archuleta
Enchantment Sports Assistant Editor
To be fair, it’ll be September or October before analysis of University of New Mexico football coach Bob Davie’s latest staff change can be made.
But in February, it’s another curious move.
UNM announced on Tuesday that Davie has promoted safeties coach Jordan Peterson to defensive coordinator. Peterson assumes the reins from five-year DC Kevin Cosgrove, who will remain on staff as linebackers coach.
“Obviously, defensively things didn’t go as well as we wanted last year,” Davie said in a news release. “It’s all of us involved. It’s not one person to blame nor is it one person that will solve it all. To address the problems, Jordan gives us our best option to become better on defense” said Davie. “I feel like he’s a rising star in this profession. His energy, his knowledge, his relationship with players, I feel like he’s really a bright, young coach.”
After giving up 398 yards per game overall and 240.6 yards through the air in 2017, the Lobos gave up 473 yards overall and 256 through the air last season. UNM ranked 119th among 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total defense in 2018 and was 104th in passing yards allowed.
The New Mexico defense did force nine more turnovers last season (22) than it had in 2016 (13).
The 32-year-old Peterson came to UNM in 2017 after a five-year stint at Fresno State. Usually when a change in coordinator is made due to struggles from the previous season, a head coach will look outside the program to make a change.
Davie made such a move last year on offense when he replaced longtime coordinator Bob DeBesse with Calvin Magee. Part of the reason for that move was so that Davie could move the offense away from a triple-option scheme to a spread-option attack.
Davie, however, has promoted from within at the coordinator position at UNM. He elevated Cosgrove from linebackers coach after letting defensive coordinator Jeff Mills go at the end of the 2013 season.
Cosgrove had made steady progress his first three years as DC, but the unit struggled to create turnovers in 2016-2017 with 25 total for the two years, and then took steps backward in yards allowed — from 394.8 yards allowed in 2016 to 398 in 2017 and the additional 75 yards for 473 last season.
Davie now heads into a make-or-break 2019 season with new coordinators on both offense and defense. Magee left after one season to become tight ends coach at Ole Miss, where Magee’s former mentor, Rich Rodriguez, is offensive coordinator.
Davie replaced Magee with Liberty offensive coordinator Joe Dailey.