At least when it comes to on-field results, this is, well, interesting to say the least. Off the field and in the classroom, however, it makes sense for the university.
Thursday night, New Mexico State announced that it had reached an agreement with Doug Martin on a three-year contract extension. With the new deal, the fifth-year head coach is now signed through the 2020 season.
After taking over a program that won just one game in 2012, Martin’s Aggies proceed to win two, two, three, three games in his first four seasons. This season, however, NMSU is 2-2 after four games, with those wins coming against in-state rival New Mexico and its biggest out-of-state rival in UTEP.
Those wins are kind of a big deal for the program as they haven’t beaten those two teams in the same season since 2002. Furthermore, the Aggies haven’t beaten the Lobos on the road and the Miners at home in the same season since 1976.
Aside from that on-field progress, the school in its press release highlighted what’s been going on off the field under Martin. And rightfully so as it’s fairly impressive what Martin and the program have done academically.
When Coach Martin accepted this job in 2013, there were significant hurdles the program faced such as APR scores, budget and on-field performance,” [atheltic director Mario] Moccia stated. “Since then, Doug and his staff have worked tirelessly to improve our APR score. While our budget remains to be a challenge, we’ve made efforts to stabilize that the best we can and put a focus towards football. From a performance standpoint, specifically this year, it’s evident to not only me but many others that there have been significant improvements from a competitive standpoint, which has culminated in us beating UNM and UTEP in the same season for the first time since 2002.”
Martin inherited a football program that had never met the NCAA Academic Progress Report standards. NM State’s APR multi-year score when he took over stood at 915, which was second to last in the league and led to the Aggies losing one day of practice a week. Fast forward to today and football’s 972 APR score in 2015-16 was one of the best in the Sun Belt Conference, ranking it only second to Troy – who’s score was just two points higher than NM State at 974.
“Four years ago we had a vision of building a football program at New Mexico State that would have great academic integrity and great players winning on and off the field,” Martin said. “The academic side has been accomplished as we are the only coaching staff in NM State history to achieve the NCAA APR score for football and have now done it four-straight years. What people are now seeing is the on field performance starting to take shape thanks to our talented players and coaches.